Strike duo bolster Worthing's attacking options

Ollie Peace in action for Bognor. Picture by Tommy McMillan
Ollie Peace in action for Bognor. Picture by Tommy McMillan

Worthing Football Club boss Adam Hinshelwood has bolstered his attacking options by adding Callum Kealy and Ollie Pearce to the squad.

Pearce has joined from arch rivals Bognor after the clubs agreed a compensation package. The forward was out of contract at the Rocks but Worthing had to pay a fee as Pearce is under 24.

Kealy, who is from Sydney, Australia, was with Brighton as a youngster and has joined Worthing from Met Police.

Hinshelwood is pleased with how his squad is taking shape and said: "They're two attacking options which will bolster what we've got. They both fit the bill of what we're after as they're both under 23 and have a desire to improve.

"They'll both add a lot of quality to an already good squad. They are both keen to be at the right end of this table and do all they can to help the club get there."

On bringing Pearce to Woodside Road, Hinshelwood said: "Ollie's contract ran out and he showed an interest in coming to play for us. He's the calibre of player we need and want to start attracting so Pete (Stone; Worthing chairman) made it happen for us and I'm delighted to get that backing.

"He's got a vast amount of experience for his age, has played over 200 games at this level and played at a higher level (National South) last year. I went to watch him play a few times at that level and thought he was more than good enough for that standard.

"He's got quality, a real eye for goal and is another one who should be looking to play higher and I'm sure he'll be a tremendous signing for us."

On Kealy's signing, Hinshelwood said: "Callum is an out-and-out striker. He works really hard on his game, is a good finisher with both feet and he can't wait to try to fulfil his potential.

"He's the same age bracket as Danny Barker and Reece Meekums so I spoke to both of them and people at Brighton and no one had a bad word to say about him.

"He's got experience of playing this level of football, is someone that is keen to progress up the leagues and everything ticked the right boxes for us."

Worthing are still in talks with Barker and Meekums about returning to the club next season and are keeping tabs on Aarran Racine and Lucas Covolan, who are both going on trial at higher-level clubs.

Hinshelwood says things are in place if none of the four players return and said: "We've got things in the pipeline. We've already signed James Crane, Will Miles and now Ollie and Callum so we're in a good place if the season was to start and none of those four were available.

"But if that type of player becomes available, you've got to look at it and it's something we've got to be a bit relaxed about.

"We've improved the squad over the summer and the important thing was to keep the nucleus."

Last season's top-scorer Kieron Pamment left Worthing to join Burgess Hill last week and Hinshelwood said: "I had conversations with Kieron and I could just tell from his demeanour that he probably saw himself playing away from Worthing.

"I was open and honest with him and said I'm looking to strengthen in that area, so there was going to be competition for places. He was top scorer last year and wanted assurances he was going to start week in, week out but I couldn't give that to him when possibly with his performances he felt he deserved that.

"Possibly he's getting the assurances he is going to start and get regular football elsewhere and you can't knock a lad for that."