Broadbridge Heath FC promoted, Roffey reprieved but Loxwood made to wait

HOR 280810 football. Broadbridge Heath v Bosham. -photo by steve cobb
HOR 280810 football. Broadbridge Heath v Bosham. -photo by steve cobb

Broadbridge Heath will be playing Division 2 football next season after changes to the Sussex County League saw them promoted.

The changes, which will see Division 1 increased from 20 to 22 teams next year, also had a knock on effect for Roffey, who despite finishing their first season in Division 3 bottom, gained a reprieve to stay in the County League.

Loxwood are also in line for promotion from Division 2 to Division 1, but they will have to wait on an appeal from Dorking Wanderers, who finished above them in Division 2 but were denied promotion because their ground didn’t meet league requirements.

The changes were unanimously voted in by County League clubs at the SCFL AGM on Wednesday (June 20), and Broadbridge Heath secretary Andy Crisp said the club was delighted to be going up.

“We are very pleased to be promoted,” Mr Crisp said. “It’s been very difficult to get out of Division 3 because there are so many good sides.

“Last year the top six sides could probably have competed well in Division 2 and outside of those teams there were the likes of Ifield who could beat any team on their day.

“We had a feeling at the start of the season that ground gradings would come into promotions but everything was up in the air until Wednesday’s AGM.”

Loxwood will be going up into Division 1 if Dorking Wanderers fail in their appeal, the result of which is expected next week. Still the uncertainty is having an effect at Plaistow Road.

New manager Julian Miller said: “We got put into Division 1 on Wednesday but we are still waiting on an appeal from Dorking Wanderers so at the moment we are in Divison 1 and a half.

“At the moment no one really knows if Dorking will be successful, and until we do know 100 per cent we will be in limbo. The news is positive but it’s also frustrating because we are trying to get pre-season friendlies organised and I’ve already had to change them three times.”

Still Miller said last Wednesday’s first pre-season meeting saw a lot of new faces turn up and 17 players signed on with most of last season’s squad committing to next season. But not knowing which Division they will be in could have an effect on new players committing themselves.

Under the changes voted in Division 2 will stay as an 18-team league while Division 3 will go down from 16 to 14 teams.

Still Roffey were granted a reprieve from dropping back into the West Sussex Football League and general manager Graham Powell is determined to make the most of the second chance.

He said: “With numerous lessons learnt from our first campaign the club now feels it’s in a much better position to compete at County level.”

In addition to two teams playing in the Mid-Sussex League the club will be running a new Under-18 side.

The newly formed youth section will be competing in the Arun & Chichester Youth League.

Training begins next Thursday June 28 at 7pm, followed by every Monday/Thursday and new players are more than welcome.

Roffey will play the following friendlies: July 14: Ash United, July 21: Horsham YMCA, July 28: Dorking Wanderers, Aug 4: East Grinstead United (all at home, 3pm k/o).

Roffey will be joined in Division 3 by Billingshurst FC, after their fantastic WSFL Premier Division winning season.

Pictured is BBH boss Steve Painter.