Hornets legend French relishing facing former side for first time

Loxwood FC V Arundel (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150510-165950008
Loxwood FC V Arundel (Pic by Jon Rigby) SUS-150510-165950008
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Horsham legend Eddie French is looking forward to lining up against his former team for the first time since his horrific leg break put paid to his Hornets career back in 2008.

The now Loxwood defender captained Horsham to promotion to the Ryman League Premier Division, the Sussex Senior Cup final and second round of the FA Cup, before the injury effectively ended his time with the club close on 400 appearances.

Having made a comeback after many expected him never to play again, he was gaining playing time at Loxwood two years later in 2010 when he broke his other leg and the now Magpies skipper admitted that all-but ended his hopes of playing any higher again.

Since recovering from the second break, Horsham fans’ favourite French has flourished at Plaistow Road leading the Magpies to the top flight of the Southern Combination League for the first time in their history.

The Hornets meanwhile slipped out of the Ryman League for the first time in 42 years at the end of last season in what was a far cry from the glory days back at Queen Street under the then skipper.

French revealed he has considered a pre-season back at his old club for the past couple of years, but is now well settled at Loxwood and there will be no doubt of anything but a professional performance when he leads the Magpies out at Gorings Mead on Tuesday night.

He said: “I am certainly looking forward to it as there are sentimental values there for me, but as soon as I cross that white line it’s another three points at stake.

“It’s obviously nice to go back as I have a big affiliation with them as a club and I spent a lot of good years there - it’s actually the first time I will have gone back and faced them. It’s funny to think there were three divisions between the clubs when I left Horsham, but it is what it is.

“It was 2008 when I broke my leg and the whole aim was to come to Loxwood and get back playing and go back, but it just was never right. I put on a lot of weight from not playing and it became tough, then I broke my other leg two years later and that was that.

“For the last couple of pre-seasons I have thought I would go and have a look up there, but we have got a good thing going here and I am not getting any younger, so if I can help the young team here come through and pass on some wisdom I am happy to do that.

“It’s all good here at the moment, you can see we are up the league and we are not there by accident, I see no reason if we keep playing well, why we can’t be right up there.”

On Tuesday’s match he added: “It will be a tough game, but we believe we can beat anyone as a team.”

Loxwood travel to Shoreham on Saturday, while Horsham host Chichester both in Premier Division action before Tuesday’s match at Gorings Mead.

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