Hornets sign seven but keep them under wraps - for now

Horsham have made seven new signings ahead of next season
Horsham have made seven new signings ahead of next season

Horsham’s new era is taking shape with the club having made their first seven summer signings - but they will be kept under wraps for now.

Dominic Di Paola has got the paperwork done on players that will form the base of his side and hopes to add another two in the next week.

There will be a couple of surprises in there - especially one.

Dominic Di Paola

The new boss has said there will be a few familiar faces to him in that first seven, although he has admitted there will be a couple of surprises.

One of those surprises, however, will not be home-grown winger Tony Nwachukwu who looks set to join either Worthing or Lewes.

Despite hopes they would be revealed early, fans may now have to wait until July 1 - the official date that players can be registered with the Southern Combination League - before their additions are unveiled.

Di Paola said: “I have signed seven, but I do not think the club wants to announce them yet. Seven have agreed to sign and I hope to have one or two more in the next week or so.

“All of them will be good additions in the league we are in and come the start of pre-season we will be pretty much there or there abouts.”

On whether his new recruits are Ryman League or County League names, Di Paola added: “A bit of both really. They have all done bits and pieces and some I have had before and some I have not.

“I think they will be good additions in this league and they will be playing in the right squad of players for them from day one. There will be a couple of surprises in there - especially one.

“I think we will be fine with the players we are signing. They will be good players that can help us give it a go.

“I am meeting the club on Thursday at the AGM and after that they might want to start announcing players or might want to wait. They are verbally agreed but it’s about safe guarding things a little bit.”

The 34-year-old has also already been eyeing up the competition next season and is expecting a tough and entertaining battle at the top of Division 1.

But with a managerial merry-go-round in the league it has delayed the start to the transfer gossip, “It’s been really, really quiet,” Di Paola added.

“Most sides have been changing managers this summer and with that comes a delay in signing players. Wick, East Preston, Ringmer, Littlehampton - half the league have changed their manager and everything slows down.”

On the movers and shakers next year, he added: “Eastbourne Town have had one or two seasons in the league and will be looking to get back up.

“After more than one or two seasons it can become harder to get back up after a club drops down.

“I think Littlehampton will be stronger than I gave them credit for and Pagham have a link with Bognor, but who Jamie (Howell, manager) will send there, I don’t know.

“He operates with quite a small squad so I think it will be a few youth teamers - but they have done very well and won a lot.

“Horsham YMCA will be strong, they always are, and then there is always a surprise package team, maybe Newhaven or Loxwood that really get their act together.”