Eighteen-year-old Luke was snapped up by Southampton FC from Walsall Football Club’s Academy in the summer of 2022, and has since made exciting progress at St Mary’s. He has featured eleven times this season in the Saints’ Premier League 2 side – the league set up by the Premier League to bring through the very best young talent at the top clubs. Luke, who stands 5’11”, is an Ireland U-19 International.

Luke joins a Borough squad who are gearing up for the final phase of the National South season. Manager Danny Bloor comments: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Luke Pearce to the SO Legal Community Stadium, on loan until the end of the season. I have monitored Luke for some time and have always wanted him to join us. He is an exciting talent and will very quickly become a fans’ favourite. It’s great that another Premiership club wants us to help in the development of one of their young players.

All parties have worked very hard to get this agreement in place, and massive thanks in particular to Phil Wright at Southampton Football Club for making this happen. Luke comes with an excellent pedigree and he joins a squad which is full of football. As with previous loan players from the top professional clubs, he will be made very welcome and he is sure to benefit from playing in the competitive arena of National League South.”

Borough’s previous two loan strikers from higher ranks – Charley Kendall and Jake Hutchinson – were both in double figures in no time. No pressure, Luke – and a very warm welcome from Danny, his squad and everyone at Priory Lane.

Luke is expected to make his first appearance in a Borough shirt on Tuesday night (31st January, 7.45 ko) subject to FA clearance and registration, when the Sports take on Bognor Regis Town at the SO Legal Community Stadium, in the Sussex Senior Cup.