‘Chaotic’ summer for Storrington after relegation and reinstatement

FA Cup extra preliminary round: Horsham v Lancing. Pic Steve Robards. SR1519774 SUS-150817-110414001
FA Cup extra preliminary round: Horsham v Lancing. Pic Steve Robards. SR1519774 SUS-150817-110414001

Manager John Rhodie has had a ‘frustrating’ and ‘chaotic’ summer at Storrington after the club were relegated and then reinstated into Division 1.

Despite being told that they were to drop out of senior football due to ground grading issues, they were given an 11th-hour reprieve.

That led to change in player recruitment and friendlies to make sure they were prepared for the level-higher than had first been expected.

The Swans have managed to retain the majority of last season’s squad, but have added Brad Lewis and re-signed utility player Callum Bester, who has been out for two season recovering from an ACL injury.

Captain Matt Searle has left for East Preston while Russel Shoebridge is taking time out of football.

Rhodie said: “Things have been rather frustrating to say the least in terms of preparation, as in May we were officially told we had been relegated from Division 1 based on ground-grading issues, then a month later reinstated.

“Our initial prep with friendlies, player recruitment and retention was disrupted significantly.

“Having said that, following meetings and numerous phone calls, most of the squad from last year eventually agreed to stay and then once we were reinstated back into senior football others came back on board.

“Most importantly the squad has remained very stable and we have had a solid month and half of training and friendlies which have shown some areas of significant development from last year but also areas for us to focus on.”

Defender Iain Jarvie has been elevated into the management team along with former reserve manager Nick Waters to fill a void left by former assistant Matt Nelmes.

Rhodie added: “Along with Ollie Setchell (1st team coach) and myself we have been really pleased with the players loyalty and dedication to pre-season given the chaotic circumstances.

“A small and humble club like Storrington cannot always compete in the budget stakes compared with others in the division, however, the experience and quality in the side definitely has the potential to compete on the pitch as long as the dedication continues.”

Swans start the season away to Billingshurst in the Peter Bentley Cup on Wednesday night.