Five more members of Worthing Football Club’s squad from last season signed deals for the upcoming campaign last night.
Rebels clinched promotion through the Ryman League South Division play-offs last season and have kept the bulk of the squad together.
After left-back Sam Rents signed for the club on Sunday, Jack Fagan, Omar Bugiel, Zack Newton, Steve Metcalf and Ben Pope from last season’s squad all committed to the upcoming season last night.
Rikki Banks had already agreed a new deal and joint boss Gary Elphick and first-team coach Matt Piper have also signed on as players.
They join Brannon O’Neill, Harvey Sparks and Matt Axell from last season’s squad to have signed on and Rebels have also added Kane Wills, Reis Stanislaus and Rents to their squad this summer.
Worthing joint manager Jon Meeney said: “There’s just a couple more to sign from last year now and they’ve agreed verbally.
“Jack and Rikki were both outstanding when called upon last season. Rikki played consistently in the league and Jack was first class with the way he supported Rikki and also had impressive performances in the Sussex Senior Cup.
“It’s now up to both of them to come back fitter and stronger and to support each other again this season and to make sure they’re on it from the off.
“A couple of clubs looked at Omar but the biggest thing for him is to go again in the Ryman Premier, which is a new challenge for everyone.
“He needs to go out and perform on the pitch again. The question will be has he got the temperament and discipline because he’s definitely got the quality to go up to the next level.
“Zack came into the side and for the last two months of the season was one of our most outstanding players.
“He played regularly and was a revelation for us. This gives him a springboard to keep improving as we couldn’t leave him out at the end of last season.With Will Hendon, he was outstanding on the right last season.
“It was a no-brainer with Steve. He’s club captain, a consistent performer and is very versatile as he can play anywhere across the back four.
“His experience and versatility will be key in the Ryman Premier as he has experience of playing there. He’s also a good individual to have around the club.
“Ben just needs consistency. He’s played a lot of games at this level but he’s still only 18.
“He’s an intelligent player and will score goals. He just needs to focus on Worthing Football Club and concentrate on being the best he can be.”
Meeney added that Elphick and Piper signing on as players again will only aid the team: “Gary is what we had been craving at Worthing as he’s a real leader and will put his body on the line.
“You just need to look at the way Corey Heath progressed last season when playing alongside him and continuing to play with Gary will only aid his progression.
“He’s the manager on the pitch and is so key to the side.
“Matt aids Gary and I on the management side but is always so consisent whenever he’s called upon to play. He’s a first class person to have around.
“It’s been a very good summer for us. Most of the players have committed for another season and we’ve brought in players with good character who will aid them.”
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