Worthing United boss Nigel Geary is hoping to push for a top-half finish but believes the SCFL Premier Division is going to be a lot tougher this season.
Mavericks came 14th last year in their first season back in the top flight, which was their joint highest finish in the SCFL.
Geary is hoping to better that this time around and said: “We want to push on and get up into the top half if we can but I think the division is going to be a lot tougher this season.
“Last year there were two or three very good sides up at the top and this season I think there will be five or six very good sides, while I also don’t think there will be any whipping boys like last season.
“The league is much harder which means it will be more of a test and a long, hard season.
“We’ve got some good young players, though, dual-signed with Worthing and in our own under-21 team, which is good for the future of the squad.”
Geary is also hoping to get on a cup run this season, with United beginning their season at home to Shoreham in the FA Cup on Saturday.
He said: “It’s a massive game for a lot of reasons. It’s a local derby, it’s the FA Cup and it’s the first game of the season with prize money for the winners.
“We’d like to have a cup run but want to push on in the Peter Bentley and Sussex RUR cups as well.”
United finished their pre-season programme with a match against Mile Oak for the Jacob Schilt and Matt Grimstone Cup on Saturday.
The game ended 3-3, with Mavericks’ goals scored by Matt Hards, Owen Callaghan and Callum Wells, before Oak won 4-3 on penalties (see page nine for more).
Jacob and Matt died in the Shoreham Airshow crash when on their way to a Worthing United game last season and Geary knows the start of the season will be difficult for the club.
He said: “The coming weeks are going to be tough for the club, with the anniversary of the Airshow crash coming up.
“It was a good day on Saturday for everyone involved with both clubs. There were about 100 people there watching the game and £500 was raised for charity, which was great.”
Ins: Chamal Fenelon (Staines), Justin Gregory, Jamie Stideford (both Southwick), George Rudwick (Mile Oak), Matt Hards, Mark Goldson, Rui Buckland, Jack Punter, James McKernan (all dual-signed with Worthing), Callum Wells (Shoreham).
Outs: Sam Blundell (Southwick), Ben Hall, Lawrence Edwards.
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