ALDERSHOT Town boss Terry Brown is casting a watchful eye over talented centre back Adam Theo after the club parted company with captain Jason Cousins on Thursday.
Theo, 19, has been reluctantly released by Reading and is currently training with the Shots with view to signing a permanent deal.
Brown has kept an eye on the Theo situation since watching him turn out for the Reading reserves in their Avon Combination League game against Crystal Palace towards the end of last season.
He impressed that day and continues to do the same in training, leaving Brown hopeful of filling the slot left by Cousins, who departed at the same time as striker Stafford Browne.
The boss said: "What I want now is a fit, young, hungry, right-sided centre back who can push Ray Warburton for a place. Adam Theo is all of those things.
"Adam was highly thought of at Reading but they are looking for players to help push them into the Premiership this season and Adam could not be guaranteed first team football.
"It was a difficult decision to let Jason and Stafford go as both did extremely well last season. Jason has just moved to Harlow and it was a joint decision really based on the fact that travelling would be difficult for him and that I could not guarantee him a regular start in the side.
"Stafford also did well for us in his second spell at the club but I see him as a very similar player to Tim Sills."
Browne, 31, departs with much respect from the Shots faithful after scoring 53 goals for the club in 107 appearances, including that memorable hat-trick in the Hampshire Senior Cup final of 2002.
Cousins, on the other hand, will be remembered for his efforts at the other end of the pitch, notably that performance at Canvey Island in April which all but sealed the title for the Shots.
He leaves almost a year to day after signing from Wycombe Wanderers and made 43 appearances last season, scoring one goal.
Meanwhile, Brown has also admitted that he is in on-going talks with cash-strapped Maidenhead United about clinching the Bosman signing of goalkeeper Richard Barnard.
The highly-rated 23-year-old has been training with the Shots and is expected to make the move to the Rec in favour of young Fleet Town keeper Simon Arthur, who was also being watched.
Elsewhere, Brown has also denied any approach for Roscoe D'sane from Nationwide division two side Peterborough United as rumoured up in Cambridgeshire.
Posh fans believed that boss Barry Fry had turned his attentions to Roscoe after missing out on Barnet hitman Junior Agogo last week.
But Brown strongly denies any link and remains confident of tying D'sane up on an extended deal.
He joked: "Good luck to Peterborough, Barry Fry is a lovely man!
"But I can categorically state that we have not had any approaches for Roscoe, which actually surprises me given the year he had for us last season.
"That may change, however, if Roscoe gets a good start in the Conference for us next season. It seems that clubs are reluctant to take a gamble on a player who played well in the Ryman League, although the Conference is a different story."