Horsham boss Di Paola encouraged by pre-season displays

Dominic Di Paola has been encouraged by Horsham’s performances in their first two pre-season friendlies.

Thursday, 15th July 2021, 4:44 pm
Manager Dominic Di Paola has seen positive signs in Horsham's pre-season friendlies. Picture by Steve Robards

Saturday saw the Hornets go down 2-1 at National League South favourites Dorking Wanderers.

New singing Shamir Fenelon struck ten minutes into the game, but two Wanderers goals in the final 16 minutes completed the comeback.

Tuesday evening saw Horsham welcome back a number of first team players in a drew 0-0 at Haywards Heath Town.

Di Paola said: “We’ve had a lot players that have had to isolate. We haven’t actually had positive tests luckily, but we’ve had a lot that have had to isolate so it’s been a bit of a mix and match.

“I thought the boys were brilliant on Saturday for an hour but then faded a little bit.

“On Tuesday, in the first half, we played a lot of lads that haven’t played a lot of football.

“Doug Tuck has been isolating, Rob O’Toole has been away and he had Covid just before we went back, so he’s not really been among the squad.

“In the second half we put on a few more of the boys that had played some minutes, and I thought we looked quite good against Heath.

“It’s a process but I’ve been quite happy. We just want boys to be as fit as they can be.”

This Saturday sees the Hornets host League Two Crawley Town (3pm). Horsham recorded a 3-1 win over the Reds at the official opening of The Camping World Community Stadium back in 2019.

With a bumper crowd expected, Di Paola was looking forward to playing in front of the Hornets faithful after a long spell away.

He said: “I love being at Horsham and the fact that we’re going to have supporters in is great.

“Hopefully on Saturday we should have a decent crowd. All the Saturdays from now until the start of the season, we’ve got home games and that’s great. I can’t wait.

“Taking the football out of it, it’s great that people can have some normality back.”