THE majority of Worthing Football Club’s squad from last season have put pen to paper and signed on for the upcoming Ryman League South Division campaign.
Nine players signed up on Thursday evening at training and a further two agreed to stay at Woodside Road on Saturday and they add to the three signings Rebels had already made, Trevor McCreadie, Omar Bugiel and Alex Laing.
Jack Fagan, Will Hendon, Brannon O’Neill, George Hayward, Matt Hurley, Matt Piper, Harvey Sparks, Ben Pope and Jacob Peake all signed on Thursday, before central defenders Corey Heath and Connor Cody put pen to paper on Saturday, while last season’s captain, Mark Knee, is also set to return.
Rebels have also had trialists at pre-season training and one of them, James Nicholls, a former Walton & Hersham defender, who played for Pagham Reserves last year after returning to action following a broken leg, is set to feature in Worthing’s first two pre-season games.
Rebels travel to AFC Portchester on Saturday and are then at Arundel on Tuesday.
Worthing boss Adam Hinshelwood is pleased to have retained the majority of last season’s squad, with Lee Carey and George Gaskin the main departures, and said: “I’m really pleased to have the core of last season’s squad sign on.
“The team spirit is good and has picked up from where it left off last year.
“We have a talented bunch and they’ve all worked their socks off so far in pre-season training. I see a real steely edge and determination in them to do well, too.
“Hopefully, there will still be one or two to add to the squad as well.”
It has not been easy all the time for Rebels’ players in pre-season training so far, though, as former Brighton & Hove Albion strength and conditioning coach Matt Miller has been putting them through their paces.
Hinshelwood said: “Matt has done a couple of sessions and has been pleased with the fitness levels the lads have showed.
“I know him well from my time at Brighton and it’s a link I’d like to keep going throughout the season as I want us to be one of the fittest teams in the division.
“We have exceptional ball-playing players but we’ve got to work hard as well.
“An interesting stat that came out of the World Cup was that four of the German team covered the most miles per game in the tournament, which shows how hard the top teams work to get their success.
“As long as the players put in the maximum effort, everything else, like the style we play, is down to me.
“I can’t wait to get started with our friendlies now as there are places up for grabs and it gives me a chance to try out a few different formations as well.”