Nwachukwu hoping to repay Hornets in style

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Tony Nwachukwu is hoping he can repay Horsham’s faith in him with some flipping good memories.

The 23-year-old winger – famed for his trademark somersault celebration – was rewarded for his loyalty with a contract last week.

The home-grown talent has been at the club for the majority of six years since joining the youth set-up as an under-18.

Having thrust himself into first-team contention in his second season, the pacey forward has gone on to make 197 appearances and score 54 goals for the club.

His latest came in the 1-0 win over Ware in the second qualifying round of the FA Trophy on Saturday.

Nwachukwu said it was a real honour to have a club legend like Gary Charman push to get him on a contract and he now wants to make some more happy memories after a tough couple of seasons.

He said: “I got told about a week ago now and the minute they told me I knew I wanted to do it.

“I have been here six years now and nothing could have really convinced me to leave. I was always going to stay even without a contract, it isn’t about that. It’s something that’s nice though and sort of says thank you for the time I have been here.

“Everyone knows what Gary has done for the club and for him to have seen something in me that he decided to talk to the board about a contract means a lot.

“Personally, it has been a good season so far, but the team are struggling a bit. It’s also a relief to have not had any injuries.

“I have got some momentum going and the more games I have played, I have got better and better. I am hoping to keep it going, but it can all soon be forgotten if I go through the season now without scoring.”

The youngster burst into the first team in late 2008 with a debut goal against Sittingbourne in the FA Trophy, since that time he had a short spell at Loxwood after trials at Tooting.

Nwachukwu, who has lived in Horsham since moving here from Nigeria nine years ago, added: “It does not feel that long ago that John Maggs picked me up in the first team, but the rest is history.

“Lots of players have been and gone over the years and I have gone through relegation fights and some bad memories, but have still stuck with the club.

“I do not feel it is time to leave as if it wasn’t for Horsham I would not be playing at this level and I want to build some good memories here – six years can soon turn into ten.”

The wide man is also optimistic about the second half of the season, “I think it’s too early to start looking at the table and I think we are too strong to go down,” he added.

“We have not been done six or seven nil, that is when you start worrying. We will look where we are at Christmas, but I hope by then we will be well away from a relegation battle and then hopefully ease up the table.”