Elphick excited ahead of opening pre-season friendly

Worthing Football Club joint manager Gary Elphick (far, right) is looking ahead to the new season
Worthing Football Club joint manager Gary Elphick (far, right) is looking ahead to the new season

Worthing Football Club joint manager Gary Elphick says he can’t wait for the new season to get under way.

Rebels returned for pre-season training last Thursday and have their first friendly on Saturday.

Elphick’s side make the trip to Whitehawk as preparations begin to ramp up ahead of their long-awaited return to the Ryman League Premier.

With so many changes at Hawks over the summer Elphick is not sure what to expect, but he just wants his side to use it as an exercise.

He said: “I’m not really a big one for pre-season friendlies, if I’m honest.

“It’s going to provide us with a good chance to get some game time and slowly build that match sharpness back up once again.

“They (Whitehawk) have made several changes over the summer and it looks like they have brought quite few players in from abroad.

“It’ll be nice to give them a welcome to English non-league football, with it also giving us a chance to give the whole team a run-out.”

After returning for pre-season, Elphick says Rebels trio of new additions have fitted in perfectly.

Sam Rents, Kane Wills and Reis Stanislaus all signed over the summer and the trio are now training.

Before adding anyone to the squad, Elphick revealed he looks at players’ character along with ability – and he says all three fit the bill.

He added: “The three new boys have come in and done a good job so far.

“It’s nice to finally have that chance to blend them in with our squad.

“They’ve all come in extremely fit and have been raring to go.

“I always look at a player’s character as well and all three fit what I wanted perfectly.

“These guys are experienced and will give us that added quality going into the new season.”

As well as those additions, Rebels managed to seal deals for all last year’s promotion winning team apart from top-scorer Lloyd Dawes and Ryan Quirke.

Elphick firmly believes that keeping the vast majority from last season is another major plus heading in the new season.

He said: “I think getting most of last season’s team was another great plus for us.

“After what was achieved, I felt it was important to make sure we kept most of that team together.

“We’ve managed to offer them a playing level a division up after their success and it’s great most of them are back.”

After Saturday’s first friendly, Elphick will gradually begin to build things up for his squad as the opening league game draws closer.

He added: “It’s nice to get back and get some ball work in.

“Over the past week 
we haven’t done too 
much but that will slowly move up as the new season gets closer.

“I think everyone is just looking forward to getting things started.”

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