Worthing Football Club boss Adam Hinshelwood hopes to know in the next few days whether key members of last season’s squad will be returning to Woodside Road.
Four players have been on trial at higher-league clubs over the past couple of weeks and, as much as Hinshelwood would like them to continue their careers with Worthing, he won’t stand in their way if a deal comes up.
Last season’s players’ player of the year defender Alfie Young has been on trial at Aldershot, winger Reece Meekums has played a couple of games for Bromley, defender Aarran Racine is with Dagenham this week and goalkeeper Lucas Covolan is training with League Two Stevenage.
Hinshelwood said: “By the end of this week, I’m sure we’ll know more about Alfie, Reece and Aarran.
“We’ve had a conversation with Alfie and everything is agreed if he wants to come back.
“He loved his football here last season but he went to the V9 Academy and that is where his trial came from.
“You’ve got to respect players if they’ve got that ambition to play higher, it’s what we want too. We want players with the ambition to progress up the leagues.
“Hopefully that’s with Worthing but if they can do it sooner, you’ve got to give them your full backing.”
Danny Barker agreed to stay at Worthing for the coming season earlier this week and Hinshelwood has already said he is happy with the squad he has if no more of last season’s team now return.
Ollie Pearce, Callum Kealy, Will Miles and James Crane arrived this summer to join the squad who finished the second half of last season strongly.
Hinshelwood is also still running the rule over former Worthing player Curtis Gayler and ex-Tooting striker Danny Bassett, who are on trial.
Goals from Ricky Aguiar and Barker gave Worthing a 2-1 victory in their opening friendly against South Park on Sunday.
Worthing then beat local rivals Worthing United 3-0 on Tuesday to retain the Malcolm Gamlen Trophy. Kealy, Sam Rents and Jasper Pattenden were on target.
Hinshelwood said: “Sunday was a real hot one but the cooler weather on Tuesday helped the lads a bit. They looked quite sharp for their second game together.
“They’re working really hard as a group, so I’m pleased with lots of elements of what we’re doing.
“We’ve got a nucleus of a really strong squad. We’ve had a lot of youngsters play in our two friendlies so far and it really does bode well.
“I’m excited by what the future holds for our young players and there’s a lot of talent within the football club now.”
Worthing’s next friendly is at Selsey on Saturday and they then travel to Chichester on Tuesday.
Rhyle Ovenden and Miles are set to get some minutes at Selsey, while Worthing hope Pearce will feature later this month after a groin injury.