Rebels have started the season like a train

While Team GB continue to break history and records in Rio, locally Worthing Football Club have started their Ryman Premier League season like a train.

Friday, 19th August 2016, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 3:25 am

But Jon Meeney and Gary Elphick’s team’s tremendous 100 per cent start doesn’t quite tell the whole story. Rebels’ first home game on Tuesday against Met Police saw the refurbished main stand open and the beginning of a new arrangement between the club and the local Neighbourhood Watch group.

NHW West Division, to give them their correct title, are kindly providing stewards, bedecked in yellow, to help with parking issues in the neighbouring streets around Woodside Road.

Obviously as a club Worthing want to have a good relationship with our neighbours and part of this is getting supporters to be respectful when it comes to match-day parking.

Once the school term starts the club will begin a partnership with Worthing High School, with Worthing fans able to park on the school campus on Saturday match days free of charge.

In the meantime, to re-iterate what I wrote in last week’s paper, I would ask all supporters attending Woodside Road by car to respect all of our neighbours when it comes to on-street parking.

Returning to the football, Saturday sees the arrival of Harlow Town to – giving its correct title –The Bibby Finance Stadium, with Worthing hoping to make it three wins out of three in the league.

With the Albion, who themselves have made a good start, away at Reading, Worthing and surrounding areas based Amex season ticket holders can still get their fix of live football without having to leave Sussex. And on production of their season ticket at the turnstiles, they can get into Woodside Road for £5.

Complimentary tickets have been a part of football for years but it wasn’t until I became a director at Woodside three years ago that I saw the figures for free entry each week. Literally, for years, Worthing FC had a bigger match day entourage than Elvis Presley.

There’s no doubt the players and management deserve to be able to give out ‘comps’. It’s the others arriving at the turnstile “I am a mate of X” or “Y says I don’t have to pay to get in”.

It’s probably cost Worthing thousands of pounds over the years. Thankfully part of the new way forward is that it has finally stopped. Rightfully there’s a complementaries list for the team and support staff but, after that, it’s cash all the way.

This Sunday sees the annual president’s match at Goring Cricket Club (1.30pm start). This year’s game marks club stalwart Ash Barrs’ 50th season as a player at the club, along with the 60th year that Goring member and former player Chris Lockwood has been associated with the club.

Two members with a combined 110 years service is a testament to not only their respective loyalty and dedication but the on-going ethos of the cricket club.

With a promising weather forecast, aside from the game the legendary Goring CC bar will be open for business and the club will be running a raffle.

Here’s wishing everybody at the club, especially Ash and Chris, a very enjoyable and memorable day.

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