‘I’ve come home... now let’s make some more memories,’ is the message from Horsham legend Lee Carney.
The former fans’ favourite has re-joined the Hornets six years after departing to join Three Bridges midway through the 2009/10 campaign.
The 33-year-old distinguished midfielder played more than 300 games during an eight-year spell with Horsham.
He was an integral part of former boss John Maggs’ side that reached the FA Cup second round against Swansea City in 2007.
In leaving, Carney dropped down two leagues to play at Bridges due to family commitments and went on to become captain and help them acquire Ryman League status, but he says he always planned to come back.
And his return is much to the delight of Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola, who has praised the player’s experience and labelled him a club legend.
Carney said: “I was not playing at the end of last year and Dom messaged me as did Marts (Andy Marfleet, physio), who is a good mate of mine, trying to get me down there.
“I was quite happy not playing at the time and didn’t see the point of going back for ten games, so we said we’d leave it until the summer.
“Dom got back to me and we had a couple of chats and I liked what I heard. He seems a very enthusiastic gaffer which is what I like and it was time to go back home.
“I always wanted to go back and I can not wait to get started. When I left last time, I said I would be back again, I always knew I would come back to the club one day.
“I love playing back at Horsham. The Lardy Boys are the best supporters in non-league that I have ever seen and I have been around for a few years.
“I can’t wait to get back playing and for them to be signing my songs.”
Carney helped Horsham make national headlines back in 2007 and appeared live on Sky when Horsham took Swansea City to an FA Cup replay.
It’s unlikely his latest spell will be that successful, but Carney remains as optimistic as ever, “We can always dream,” he said.
“It’s what football is all about, it’s dreaming hard and being ambitions. This year we’ll try and get as high up the league as we can. It’s the first year back so the top half would be a good finish.
“Dom is very ambitious and that’s what I like. I want to keep learning and I had stopped learning for the last few years at Three Bridges. I was stuck in a rut and wanted to get back learning again and move forwards.
“It’s exactly what he said to me is I’ll bring that bit of experience. I have played at that level for a long time and I know what to expect.”
Di Paola added: “He is clearly a good footballer, but has not played since before Christmas last year and is still carrying a bit of an injury. We’ve seen him at training, but haven’t seen anything of him as a player yet.
“He is a Horsham legend in the sense of the word. He has a lot of experience at this level which is what we were aiming for. The more experience you can bring in the better when you are going back up a league.
“I have been watching him and my teams have been playing against him for years and he is a winner. He has got the determination and drive, so it could be good.”
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