Starkey relishing regular game time with Worthing

Jesse Starkey made his Worthing debut in Saturday's home draw with Harrow Borough. Picture by Derek Martin
Jesse Starkey made his Worthing debut in Saturday's home draw with Harrow Borough. Picture by Derek Martin

Midfielder Jesse Starkey is excited at the prospect of regular football after completing a one-month loan switch to Worthing Football Club last week.

The 22-year-old, who joined from League One side Gillingham, spent his youth career at both Chelsea and Brighton & Hove Albion, with his aim now to make it in the professional game.

Starkey left Albion by mutual consent last season – having made four appearances in the EFL Trophy – and stints at Swindon Town and Gills have followed.

The past 11 months have seen Starkey appear only twice and a need for regular football has now seen him drop down to the Bostik League Premier Division to link up with Adam Hinshelwood.

Worthing boss Hinshelwood was previously assistant manager at Brighton under-18s and is someone Starkey knows well.

He said: “I’ve not had a lot of matches over the past year or so and I needed to get out and play somewhere. Adam (Hinshelwood) is someone I know quite well, we were at Brighton at the same time – so after speaking to him the move to Worthing came about.

“They like to play the game in the right way and, with me being a Brighton lad, it’s quite close to home so works quite well for me and the travelling distance is not too far.

“It’s about getting some regular match action and helping Worthing up the table in my time here.”

Starkey made his Worthing debut in Saturday’s 2-2 draw with Harrow Borough – getting through the full 90 minutes.

Worthing are currently four points adrift at the foot of the table but Starkey hopes he can help the team climb up the league – however long he stays – and added: “I don’t really think I’m in Steve Lovell’s (Gillingham manager) plans at the minute. What this loan spell will hopefully do is give him a chance to see me in games, which I wasn’t really getting the chance to do before.”

Starkey admits his long-term ambition is to be regularly featuring in the professional game with Gillingham but is happy to be taking on a new challenge currently.

The midfielder, who is training with Worthing and Gills during his loan spell, knows some of the squad – which has made Woodside Road feel like home.

He said: “I know quite a few of the boys and Adam obviously, so it’s been nice. Ben (Pope) is a friend of mine, Harvey (Sparks) I know as well and a few of the other lads. It’s always nice to feel comfortable when moving to a new team, which is something I’ve had.

“The aim for me is to be back and featuring for Gillingham but my focus at the moment is on Worthing.

“Saturday was probably a game we should have won, so it’s important to start winning games here and helping the team move up the table and out of trouble.”