FOOTBALL: Tigers keen on Deeping skipper

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Deeping Rangers captain Steve Julian has emerged as Holbeach United’s number one target to replace injured talisman Jamie Stevens.

The Tigers must do without their influential skipper for at least a month after he damaged his hamstring in the 3-3 draw with Rangers on Saturday.

That means Stevens will likely miss key matches against UCL Premier Division title rivals St Ives Town (March 26) and Spalding United (April 1), leaving Ben Brown and Jack Smith as the club’s only available centre backs.

With that in mind, Chand has slapped in a seven-day notice of approach for Julian as they bid to clinch a first league title in a decade.

Although he’s not spoken to the centre back – himself a UCL Premier Division winner with S & L Corby back in 2009 – the Holbeach chief is hopeful of bringing him in.

“Obviously losing Jamie at this stage of the season is a bitter blow,” said Chand. “I’m confident that Jack Smith, Ben Brown and also Jonny Allen can cover for him.

“But Steve Julian is a defender with bags of experience and he’s won the title before. I’m sure Deeping won’t want to lose him, but I’m keen to speak with him and see what he thinks.

“We’ve got eight games left and they’ll all be big ones, so his experience would be a help.”

Without Stevens – or indeed Julian – Holbeach visit Yaxley on Saturday (3pm). They go into the game with a reduced lead of 11 points after St Ives won 2-0 at Boston Town on Tuesday night.

But Chand, who has midfielders Rob Hughes and Wes Lewis back, insists nothing has changed in the title race.

He added: “Yaxley will be a tough game, they’re well organised and gave us a tough game at Carter’s Park.

“There’s no added pressure, St Ives and Spalding winning in the week wasn’t unexpected really.

“Nothing has changed, if we beat them both we’ll still be champions.”