HORSHAM’S new joint assistant manager Hugo Langton says he loves that the side have already been ‘written off’ by many people.
Langton expects to unearth “one or two diamonds” at the club trials on July 2 and is confident the side they assemble will not just be there to make up the numbers.
“I think there’s been around 35 players who have contacted us about the trials so far from everywhere as far as Canada and there’s a bit more time so I would expect a few more,” he said. “You always get a real mix, and while you’re never going to get a huge number of quality I’d be amazed if we didn’t unearth one of two diamonds. Between Justin, Richard (Langley, joint assistant manager) and myself we are very well connected and the three of us know a lot of players who have played Ryman League or above and want to be part of the challenge at Horsham.”
The 36 year old will be the joint assistant manager alongside Langley, who joined last week, and has previously coached at Notts County, Charlton Athletic and more recently Ashford Town and Thamesmead. He was seriously considered as John Maggs’ replacement, but says joining the club alongside Luchford and “Non League legend” Langley is “win-win for everyone”.
Horsham have been tipped by many to struggle next season but Langton said: “We love the fact that some people have written us off. There are people in Non-League football who think we have no chance because of our budget, but we know what we are doing.
“We will have a team ready come August 20 which is more than capable of competing in the Ryman Premier League and I can’t wait to get started.
“I understand supporters are a little downbeat at the moment. They’ve lost their long term manager and seen players leaving, but I am confident that some of the players we’ll bring in will surprise a few people.
“I don’t know what people are expecting but we have not come here to make up the numbers, we’ll have a good squad which will become clearer when we are able to announce signings.”
Langton expects all the members of last season’s squad who have not left - with the exception of Paul Kennett who is considering his options - to report for pre-season training on July 9. An open evening will be arranged soon so supporters can come and meet them. Langton will share the role with Langley, a 54 year old who brings to the table a wealth of knowledge having managed at Dover Athletic from youth to the first team and spent the last five seasons at Ramsgate.
He said: “I’ve not met anyone from Horsham yet but from speaking to Justin it is clear that we all have the same ideas for the club.
“I know it will be a challenge to say the least but an exciting challenge.
“I’m a great believer in young players, if they are good enough they should play.”