George Dowell’s vision for Worthing Football Club remains as strong as ever – and he hopes to be in National South within three years.
Club owner Dowell stepped down as Worthing chairman at the weekend – to be replaced by Pete Stone – but he was quick to point out the move is to accelerate the club forward off the pitch. With managing director Calvin Buckland, Dowell had been overseeing all off-the-pitch issues and he feels Stone will help drive the club forward.
When Dowell took control of the club three years ago, he set a five-year goal to be in National South. While he admits the pitch problems earlier this season may push the plan back a year, he is as ambitious as ever and said: “Everyone knows our five-year plan. Because of the start of this season, it’s probably put us back a year but the plan in the next three seasons will be to get promotion.
“Our form has been brilliant since Hinsh (manager Adam Hinshelwood) came in. With the team he’s put together – if he keeps them all for next season – I think we will have a real chance of pushing and finishing in the play-off places, if not higher.
“But we need to improve off the pitch if we want to improve on the pitch. The better-organised you are off the pitch will help on the pitch, with maybe increased budgets and whatever else.
“If we can be professional off the pitch – which we have always tried to be – hopefully that can translate to on the pitch. It was an easy decision to bring Pete in as chairman as I know we need more hands on deck. He’ll bring more structure, he’s got expertise of running a business and I think he’ll be brilliant for us.
“We have a lot of matchday volunteers and volunteers during the week but it is nice to have someone else to lean on and hand some responsibility to, so not everything just falls on Calvin and I. There’s another person who can oversee different areas and it takes a load off Calvin and I. We needed that if we wanted to progress.”
Dowell admits he still enjoys the challenges club ownership brings and says that once Worthing reach National South, the target will be to progress again and not stand still.
He said: “I’d like to think we can sustain a club at a higher level than National South but anything above that, we would need to look at various things, with ground improvements, etc. But the aim is to keep progressing. There will never be a point where we get to a league and want to stop or just consolidate. We’ll always look to improve, get better and finish higher and higher whatever league we’re in.”
With his orginal five-year plan in its third season, where would Dowell like to see the club five years from now? “I’d like to see us in the top ten of National South and starting to make our way up to a promotion spot in that league,” he said.
Stone is looking forward to his role as Worthing chairman and said: “What Calvin and George have delivered to our community is nothing short of a miracle and it is an absolute honour to now take on this prestigious role and carry on the great work.
“My immediate priorities are to strengthen and focus the board, and to tap into the passion that exists around us to secure an increased number of volunteers who can take on more specific roles at the club.”