Buckland’s Horsham YMCA taking shape

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Horsham YMCA boss Peter Buckland has assembled a formidable back room team as he attempts to make his mark at Gorings Mead.

Buckland was appointed manager in the wake of Mark Hawthorne’s decision to quit towards the end of last season, and has spent the off season bringing together a team of some of the brightest coaching talent in the Horsham district.

Ex-Alfold FC manager Paul Cooper will take the reins of the YM Reserves in the Suburban League, and he will be assisted by TD Shipley’s former assistant Steve Barrow, while Hawthorne returns to the club as fitness coach.

Buckland said: “Paul has has an excellent knowledge of West Sussex League football and gained several promotions and cups in his time, whilst Barrow played a pivotal role of late in maintaining TD Shipley’s County League status.”

Meanwhile on the pitch, six new players have committed for the new season, and Buckland knows them well from his previous club Dorking.

Buckland said: “They are in addition to last season’s squad and are all in my opinion very good, young players that have a wealth of experience at Combined Counties Premier League level.

“Not only are they good players, but nice lads with a good ethic that will rub off on to the players already at the club.

“I found them all reliable, hard working and easy to manage. We are all very excited at the club about the upcoming season.”

Pre-season training starts tonight (Thursday), with friendlies arranged against Roffey, Southwater, Broadbridge Heath, Crawley Down, Horsham and Mile Oak.

Buckland added: “Everything is in place, a first team squad of 20 good players, a Suburban League side raring to go under the stewardship Paul and Steve, along with some very highly rated youngsters.

“The club overall has a buzz about it, and to a man we can’t wait for the action to start.”