WORTHING Football Club kick-off their pre-season friendly campaign against Lewes on Saturday and boss Chris White is satisfied with how his side is shaping up.
For the past two seasons it has been a complete rebuild for White at the helm of Rebels, but retaining the vast majority of last season’s side has been a breath of fresh air this year.
It has meant White is already fairly happy with his squad with only a couple of new additions and a couple of departures over the summer. They are now happy to head into their friendly fixtures with the side they have, and possibly evaluate again at a later date.
White said: “We’re not far off being there, really, I’m quite pleased with what we’ve got. There is no panic at the moment, we start our friendlies on Saturday against Lewes, which we are looking forward to, and then go from there.
“If we need to reassess after a couple of friendlies, that is what we’ll do.
“It’s the first time I’ve not had to rebuild the whole squad in pre-season and it’s quite nice.”
White also has most of last season’s squad, apart from Jamie Brotherton, available for Saturday and he will mix them in with a number of trialists.
Former Brighton & Hove Albion development player Jamie Strong, who was released at the end of last season, has been training with Rebels and will play a part on Saturday at Woodside Road (3pm). Rebels also host Worthing United on Tuesday (7.45pm).
Strong is eyeing a full-time professional contact and has trials lined up but is currently enjoying training with Rebels. White will also be giving a game to ex-Gillingham left-back Owen Kessack with the view to sign him as cover for defender Matt Piper, who is struggling through injury.
White said: “Matt pulled his hamstring at the end of last season and has been having groin trouble all summer. He’s been training, but has been struggling and I want to cover all bases.”
Rebels have also added a new fitness coach to their staff for next season to work with the players.
Worthing have been drawn away to Brighton & Hove Albion in the second round of the Sussex Senior Cup, where they will play the development squad.
White added: “It’s great for the club. We host the first team in pre-season and now play the development squad in the cup – it’s always great to be playing them.”