KARL Prentice is aiming to announce the new manager of Aldershot Town by the end of the month — possibly in time for the home clash with Heybridge Swifts on March 30.

The first round of interviews are now over and the board are said to be considering two or three applicants for a second round of talks which started on Wednesday.

This does not, however, include current caretaker boss Stuart Cash, who is yet to be interviewed by the board. He could yet throw a spanner in the works.

Mr Prentice said: "We're at half time at the moment. We've seen the first batch of interviewees now we'll be looking this week to start the second batch. We have listed two or three people who we see as ideal candidates but it wasn't an easy decision to make as the standard was very high.

"We had people down from Leeds and Lincolnshire for interviews and that was very pleasing because it just goes to show how prestigious this job is and how important it is for them.

"I guess individually the board have their own ideas as to who should take over but we have kept those thoughts to ourselves and agreed on the final two or three.

"When things are done democratically like that it's pleasing to see things pan out as they have without much problem."

Naturally, rumours as to who will take over George Borg's hot seat at the end of the month are beginning to do the rounds.

Various people have emerged as favourites over the last few weeks, but the latest man to take that mantle is Paul Fairclough. It is understood that Fairclough's application arrived two days after deadline following his surprise sacking from Conference side Stevenage Borough.

The application was still accepted, however, and he, along with Cash, Alan McDonald, Keith Stevens, Mark Ward and Alan Devonshire have become the front runners.

Fairclough has been seen at the last two Shots games along with his former No.2 at Stevenage, ex-Chelsea man and Welling boss Kevin Hales.

Both Fairclough and Hales have refused to be drawn into the speculation, except only to state the obvious in that they would naturally be interested in managing a big club such as Aldershot.

Mr Prentice is naming no names with several candidates involved in interviewing, still currently tied down to other clubs.