Horsham manager Di Paola lauds new pair

Dominic Di Paola was full of praise for Horsham's latest pair of new signings.

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 1:30 pm
Updated Saturday, 17th July 2021, 1:32 pm
Horsham new boy Shamir Fenelon in action for Crawley Town in 2016. Picture by Jack Beard

The Hornets have recently snapped up Brazilian-born forward Lucas Rodrigues from Whitehawk, and former Brighton & Hove Albion and Crawley Town winger Shamir Fenelon from Billericay Town.

The signing of Rodrigues and Fenelon brings the number of new players brought in at Horsham for the 2021-22 campaign to seven.

Goalkeeper Sam Howes, midfielders Brad Wilson and Tom Kavanagh, winger Tom Richards, and striker Alex Laing have all arrived at The Camping World Community Stadium during the off-season.

Di Paola said: "Lucas I've been trying to sign for five years. I first tried to sign him when Steve King was manager at Whitehawk, and we tried to get him on loan.

"Eventually they sent him out on loan to Burgess Hill, but I've been after him for years.

"I think he's a great asset, and he's another local lad. We've gone really local this year which is good.

"And Sham came out of nowhere. I got a message from one of our players saying that he was looking to play locally. He lives in Crawley.

"I just can't believe we've got him. He's an unbelievable footballer.

"He's never played this low in terms of levels. He's played some League Two football and he's played in the National League with Aldershot

"If we can get him to play the way we want him to play, he's going to be a good signing for us."

The acquisition of seven new players at The Camping World Community Stadium has been off-set by the departure of nine of last season's team.

Dylan Merchant, Kieran Lavery, Brad House, Jerry O'Sullivan, Arron Hopkinson, Reece Hall, Kieran Monlouis, David Ray and Lewis Taylor have all left the club during the summer.

Di Paola was delighted with the way the new signings had begun to bed in to the Hornets' squad, but said it would take time for them to gel with their new teammates.

He added: "We've got a really good group now. They seem to be getting on and bonding, but it's another season, sadly, where we've got a load of new lads in.

"It does take time. We've lost nine and brought in seven, so I think it does take time for everybody to gel.

"But I'm seeing some positive signs. We played some good stuff against Dorking and Haywards Heath.

"It's still early days. We've got seven friendlies and we've got a long way to go.

"We've just got to make sure people are fit and healthy by the start of the season."

Horsham welcome League Two outfit Crawley Town to The Camping World Community Stadium for a pre-season friendly at 3pm today.

You can still purchase tickets online for the game. Tickets for this afternoon's clash can be bought here.