New-look Horsham are eyeing a major charge for promotion

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Hockey SUS-150618-153333001

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Horsham get their South Premier Division 2 campaign underway on Saturday with their eyes set on a major charge for promotion.

They narrowly missed out stepping up to Division 1 by one place last season and, after some good results in pre-season games, could find themselves in pole position this time around.

The fixture list sees five new teams set to visit Broadbridge Heath over the coming months.

Only Purley Walcountians, dropped out of the league above in April but four teams – Woking, Oxford Hawks 2nd, Holcombe 1a and Winchester – make the jump having won promotion from the various county feeder divisions.

Skipper Duncan Howarth has most of last year’s first team to pick from although has lost Dave Leadbitter and Seye Akande, who have both retired and Pete Neave who is off to university.

Freddie Campbell has now completed his studies and can train full time, as can Andy McIlwraith who has returned to the South East.

They have signed a new goalkeeper in Andy Isaacs, young midfielder Ollie Yeoman and Mark Bryan and Sean Watson are among several talented contenders looking to move up from the second team.

Team manager Al Campbell said: “We will not be the only club to have improved the squad. Last season we saw how Henley managed to go straight through from the league below. We will take each game as it comes, starting with Woking this weekend.”

They completed their pre-season fixtures with a 12-2 win over Crawley on Saturday, which followed a walk-over win in the Sussex Cup against Brighton, gifting Horsham a bye into the semi-final.

They had previously drawn 3-3 with Havant and beat Dereham 2-1 in warm-up games.

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