Experienced player signs at Horsham, but enforced exit of key man is 'real shame'

Steve Metcalf. Picture by John Lines
Steve Metcalf. Picture by John Lines

Horsham are on the search for a new stopper with highly-regarded Josh Pelling announcing he is leaving the club.

The goalkeeper, who has made 134 appearances in three different spells with the club, will not be playing a part in their return to the Bostik League Premier Division.

Having first joined the club on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion in 2009, Pelling first signed on a permanent basis in 2016.

He joined Dorking Wanderers for the 2017/18 campaign but returned to Horsham midway through the season and had remained at the club ever since.

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola said: “It’s always a shame when you get a good group together and someone leaves and neither party wanted Josh to go.

“But he struggled to get to midweek games last season, often arriving just before kick-off, and although he really wanted to stay, he realises that he would find it difficult especially with us going up.

“It’s a real shame that we couldn’t get it to work as he’s a top man, really well-liked by the rest of the squad, and has been brilliant for me, at Hastings as well as at Horsham.

“Hopefully we’ll see him back in a Horsham shirt one day but, for now, we wish him all the best for whatever the future holds.”

Pelling himself called hi time at the club a ‘pleasure’ and added: “Thank you to everyone involved at the club for the support throughout the years. A great club and deservedly back in the premier.”

One boost to the defensive line is that full-back Steve Metcalf has committed to the club for another season.

The popular defender will be a key addition with his Premier Division experience acquired at Worthing.

Metcalf joins Chris Smith, Rob O’Toole, Jack Brivio, Harvey Sparks, Charlie Harris, and Lee Harding of last season’s squad to agree terms.