Horsham already talking to new goalkeeper with new signings not far away as pre-season looms

Horsham FC. Josh Pelling. Pic Steve Robards SR1808489 SUS-180204-162012001
Horsham FC. Josh Pelling. Pic Steve Robards SR1808489 SUS-180204-162012001

Things should be in safe hands with Horsham poised to net a new goalkeeper after Josh Pelling announced he is leaving the club.

The highly-regarded shot stopper, 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.

Horsham FC Steve Metcalf. Pic Steve Robards SR1720480 SUS-170829-111023001

Horsham FC Steve Metcalf. Pic Steve Robards SR1720480 SUS-170829-111023001

Having played a big hand in helping the Hornets to promotion last season, Pelling had initially hoped to stay with the club and make the step up – despite concerns over work commitments.

But the teacher, who first joined the club in 2009, on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, has decided that he cannot juggle both undertakings, especially in midweek.

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola, while disappointed, understood the reasons and has already been talking to potential replacements.

He said: “It was something we half expected. We spoke after the season ended and it was a lot of what we said last season, that he would struggle to committed and it would be an issue.

“He is ever so committed to his job and doing very well be all accounts. But with the great end to the season and the euphoria, he said he would give it a go.

“As the summer has gone he has thought about it and realised it is going to be very hard.

“It’s one of those things, he has been brilliant for us and brilliant for me previously at Hastings and he’s a fantastic lad, but he has to do what’s right for him.”

On replacing him, Di Paola added: “It’s never easy and we have to work out what we are going to do now.

“It is the nature of the beast, I used to panic a lot more, but I am lot more calm about it now. We have got someone in mind that we are speaking to at the moment. We need to see if they are interested and go from there.” 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.

Di Paola said: “Mets is straight down the line, it’s what I like about him. He has a chat to the Mrs if he can commit again, as he has twins, and then he tells you.

“He wanted to give it a go and had a brilliant season last year, I think he thrived on the fact we were competing. He is super fit and some of the other boys could take a leaf out of his book as I guarantee he’ll be out running at the moment.”

With the summer racing by the Hornets return to pre-season training a week on Monday and there will be an extra buzz than normal.

The club will be hosting a pre-season on their very own ground for ten years. Their new home of Hop Oast, while not completely ready with all the fine-tuning, will be their venue.

Di Paola added: “Two or three new ones (signings) are almost over the line. We probably won’t announce them until pre-season, but there might be a bit of new in the next week.

“We are going into training in the new ground which is great. A few things won’t be ready, but we can do without goals being up rather than training on parks.

“It’s a massive incentive to the boys and one that I think has meant they all wanted to give it a go.”