Aarran Racine feels Worthing are on the up and he hopes to reach the National League with the club.
The 26-year-old was assistant manager and part of Adam Hinshelwood’s coaching team last season as he recovered from a knee injury.
The former Forest Green Rovers captain had hoped for a move to a higher-league club this summer but re-signed for Worthing last week on a one-year deal after a move back up the football pyramid did not work out.
Defender Racine, who also coaches with Worthing’s academy, is now fully focused on the season ahead as he looks to get back into the National League. He said: “The club have made it very clear they want to be in the National League and that’s where I want to be back playing.
“In an ideal world, hopefully that will be with Worthing.
“Everything is in place here. Things have progressed behind the scenes and on the field we looked better each game and each week last year.
“The fans come out in their numbers too and everything about the club is on the rise, on the coaching side as well.
“They club has its own football academy which is only a good thing, especially for the local community and the local lads.
“Everything here is on the up.”
Racine turned down an offer from a National League club this summer before putting pen to paper again at Worthing.
He said: “I had a little bit of interest from the Conference and I went to a club in London but it didn’t quite work out.
“I got offered a contract – and it was nice to have that offer confidence-wise – but financially I couldn’t live off it, so that was a no-go.
“There were other opportunities about too but they were too far to commute with the coaching commitment I’ve got with the academy at Worthing in the evening.
“Plus for the last eight or nine years I’ve been away from home, so I wanted to settle around here and get a club closer to home. That was where my head was at this summer football-wise.
“This is always the worst time of year for footballers because you never know where you’re going to be playing, who’s going to pay your mortgage and what you’re going to be doing for a job.
“Worthing made it clear they wanted to sign me but I still had ambitions to get back playing higher.
“However I enjoyed my time here last year, I can’t fault anything at the club and it’s a good place to be.
“It’s a massive relief and a weight off my shoulders to get something done.”
Looking ahead to the new campaign, Racine said: “We’ve got to be better next season.
“Last year wasn’t bad but as long as you’re progressing each year, it’s a good sign. That’s ultimately what we’ve got to do. Hopefully we’ll get off to a good start and then you never know what might happen.”