Kilgarriff hoping firepower forces promotion

Southwick Football Club manager John Kilgarriff
Southwick Football Club manager John Kilgarriff

Southwick Football Club boss John Kilgarriff is hoping a strong striking pool can fire his side to Southern Combination League Division 1 promotion this term.

As well as keeping hold of talented frontmen Andy McDowell and George Turrell, Kilgarriff has moved to sign Sam Blundell and Ryan Pretlove this summer.

Wickers gathered some momentum as last season drew to a close and were in the promotion hunt up until the penultimate game before finishing fifth.

Southwick’s boss cited a lack of squad depth for falling short but this time around he has moved quickly to make sure his side have that in abundance.

Kilgarriff said: “I think we did really well last season but just didn’t quite have the squad depth required.

“When players were missing, others had to come in and play out of their natural positions to make up for it.

“That is something I’ve focused on this summer, making sure we have got cover.

“In particular our strike force is looking very strong now, we’ve added both Sam and Ryan to what we had previously which is great for us.”

Kilgarriff knows his side will have a tough challenge to reach the top tier of the Southern Combination League.

Several teams have strengthened over the summer and Wickers’ boss believes Division 1 will be the toughest it has been for a long time.

He added: “I think this year will be one of the toughest in this league.

“Teams have added some really good players and we know each week will be a test.”

Southwick begin their campaign with an FA Cup extra-preliminary tie at home to Cray Valley of the Southern Counties East Football League on Saturday.

That fixture marks a return to the competition following a six-year absence for Kilgarriff’s side and he admitted it’s a tie everyone is excited for.

He said: “It’s nice to be back in the FA Cup. We worked hard last season and our finish allowed us to be back in this prestigious competition again. We’ve got a home draw and want to do well in front of our fans.”

In: Ross Petts, Harvey Dunk (Shoreham), Connor Lowe, Scott Lowe, Sam Blundell (Worthing United), Ryan Pretlove (Mile Oak).

Out: Tom Donnelly (Lancing United), Richard Hudson (Saltdean United).

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