Worthing planning for day when 16 and 17-year-olds are needed
Adam Hinshelwood is using the latest lockdown to give a wide range of young players first-team experience.
And he admitted: We may well need them in a congested second half of the season.
Worthing are as disappointed and frustrated as any club after the vote last week that means the Isthmian League has put on hold its plans to restart league fixtures from this week.
A majority backed the proposal to continue ‘pausing’ the season – chiefly because some Isthmian clubs are in tier three and unable to welcome fans, while even those in tier two are restricted in opening revenue-generating bars and clubhouses.
The extended interruption to the non-league season comes with Worthing back on top of the Isthmian premier – just where they were when last season ended early and was then declared null and void.
Hinshelwood and his staff fielded two completely different teams in friendlies at Pagham and at Aveley against Basildon on Saturday and Monday.
They lost 1-0 at Pagham and drew 2-2 with Basildon but the manager said they were useful workouts both for first-team regulars and the clutch of teenagers who got a run-out.
Hinshelwood told the Herald: “As a club we’re disappointed the league is not restarting yet, but we can see why the decision was made.
“I think if we were in tier three we’d be pushing for the delay.
“There’s a review of the situation on December 16 and hopefully we won’t have to wait too long to get going again.”
With Worthing out of their cup competitions, friendlies are the only games they will be able to play in the immediate future –and Hinshelwood plans plenty of them, with many opportunities for the younger players to get game-time.
They’ll visit Chichester City on Saturday and Haywards Heath a week later and Hinshelwood said: “We need as many players as we can to stay as match-fit as possible.
“When the league does resume it will be hectic. There’ll be two games a week and clubs will need big squads.
“Some of the 16 and 17-year-olds we have may well be needed. There’ll be injuries with that many games and we’ll need that squad.”
The Mackerel Men have suffered one new injury blow, with forward Dayshonne Golding tearing a hamstring against Basildon.