Sussex County Football League Division 1 preview
THE County League football season kicks off again on Saturday, with our local sides in Division 1 and Division 2 getting back into action.
After three months off, they are all ready and raring to get going again and here are the hopes and aims for our teams in Division 1.
Manager: Brett Torode.
Aims, Torode: “We’ve done quite well in pre-season and are trying to play a bit more attacking.
“We want to improve on last year as we showed improvement last year on the year before. The players are all a year older and wiser and, hopefully, we’ll do all right. I’m feeling quite positive and am pleased with the squad we’ve got.”
Players in: Adam Bibb, Jerry Manning, Liam O’Connor (all Littlehampton), Chris Darwin (Rustington), Stuart McDonald.
Players out: Mike Huckett (East Preston), Ryan Warr.
Last season: 14th in Div 1.
Manager: Dominic Di Paola.
Aims, Di Paola: “We want to be challenging but you never know what’s going to happen.
“Lingfield, East Grinstead, Pagham and Rye will all be up there and I’d like to think we’ll be up there as well and will give it a good crack.”
Players in: Mike Huckett (Arundel), George Gaskin (Littlehampton), Adam Hunt, Darren Boswell, Shaheen Sadough, Joel Harding (all Lancing), Tom Levitt (Peacehaven).
Players out: Fred Foreman, Josh Clack, Ben Rose (all Worthing), Lawrence Edwards (Shoreham), Tom Boyle (Godalming), Craig Grantham, Nikolas Kakolyris.
Last season: 3rd in Div 1.
Manager: Richard Whittington.
Aims, assistant Tom Gurney: “We have had to rebuild a whole new team which is quite a difficult thing to do. We are quite happy with the players we have brought in but it will take time to gel.
“I think we will get better as the season goes on. The long-term aims are hard to say, but we want to do the best we can.”
Players in: Jono Melia, Owen Callaghan, Bradley Bant (all Shoreham), Ollie Hartley, James Shaw (both Eastbourne Borough), Jack Lorraine (Peacehaven), Dominic Shepherd, Owen Hill, Connor Wilkins, Olly Davies, Connor Sidwell, Andy Alexander.
Players out: Joel Harding, Adam Hunt, Shaheen Sadough, Darren Boswell (all East Preston), Dan Taylor, Michael Sims, Danny Gainsford, Lee Denyer, Grant Philpott, Titus Paterson, Wayne Joseph, Graham Martin, Dan Turner (all Worthing United).
Last season: 13th in Div 1.
Manager: Mark Bennett.
Aims, Bennett: “I’d like us to establish ourselves in Division 1 and to finish as high as possible, while also going one better in each of the cups than last year.
“I’d like to finish in the top six, although that might be a little bit ambitious.”
Players in: Liam Humphreys (Storrington), Ash Harper (Barnham), Julian Curnow (Rustington), Mark Burgess, Scott Hunt, Harry Constable.
Players out: George Gaskin (East Preston), Jerry Manning, Adam Bibb, Liam O’Connor (all Arundel).
Last season: 1st in Div 2.
Manager: Bryan O’Toole.
Aims, O’Toole: “As a group, we’re really looking forward to the season. Everyone’s the same as me, though, and we’ll just be looking at one game at a time.”
Players in: Carl Dunk, Charlie Barnes-Bush, Rob O’Toole, Josh Heyburn, Craig Bunch (all Peacehaven), Lawrence Edwards (East Preston), Matt Fleming (Saltdean), Jason Edwards, Matt Den Heijer, Lee Ponting, George Bunch, Craig Stevens, Elliott Quant.
Players out: All of last season’s squad.
Last season: 17th in Div 1.
Joint managers: Jason Rutherford and Lloyd Saunders.
Aims, Rutherford: “We just want to finish as high as possible.
“We’ve done all right in pre-season, not outstanding, but I think we can have a good season.
“We’ll be better than last season, I can promise that.”
Players in: Ryan Bradley, Aaron Hasan, Matt Percival, Scott Marshall (all Ringmer), Andy McCarthy (Littlehampton), Dan Taylor, Michael Sims, Danny Gainsford, Lee Denyer, Grant Philpott, Titus Paterson, Grant Philpott, Wayne Joseph, Graham Martin, Dan Turner (all Lancing), Sam Blundell, Lewis Finney, Jay Tidey (all Southwick), Dan McLoughlin (Burgess Hill), Ryan Storrie (Eastbourne Town).
Players out: All except for Dean Gilmour, Tom Donnelly and Jamie McLeod.
Last season: 22nd in Div 1.