Good form, impressive spirit and exciting times ahead have Hornets feeling the buzz

Horsham players celebrate at Sittingbourne. Picture by John Lines
Horsham players celebrate at Sittingbourne. Picture by John Lines

Competitive recent form and a glowing team spirit has got Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola already looking ahead to what promises to be an exciting campaign next season.

Five wins from seven matches have seen the Hornets reassess their aims of up to a top-ten finish in the Bostik League South Division this year.

But with pre-construction work already taking place at their new home at Hop Oast, Di Paola is also looking ahead to next season with what he believes will offer a ‘real opportunity’ to progress.

And while he knows plenty can change over pre-season, he would love to keep this year’s squad together, having found a fitting formula after a difficult start to the campaign with injuries and departures.

Di Paola said: “We have seen some really good performances from some of the younger boys. They have really grown this season - Jack Hartley, Toby House and Josh Street, when he has played.

“It’s nice seeing the group grow together. We do not win every game, like the Herne Bay the other week, but there is a good spirit.

“Given the choice I’d like to start with this group in pre-season, that comes from the way we have performed over the last three or four months and it would stand is in good shape. But I did think I’d put a group together in the summer, but I never got to play them together - that’s football, you just don’t know.

“But I do really like this team spirit, it is as good as it has ever been since we have been at the club. They are a good bunch, they work hard and are really hungry. They are not on their way down, they are just starting out.

“It’s a real opportunity for next season as a club. With the ground coming, for me, that puts us in a different position with what we can offer players facility wise.

“That should make a big difference.

“I do not think players ever really want to leave Horsham, but sometimes things attract them that we cannot offer or do anything about.”

A recent good run of form has seen Horsham start to look up the table and realistically could secure a top-ten finish.

They host Greenwich Borough on Saturday in a run of four games against the top eight, and Di Paola said: “We are looking at the next little batch now, so from tenth to 14th.

“It’s a really strange league and you can win a lot of games and not really go anywhere and then all of a sudden one win lifts you up.

“There are a few teams with games in hand on us now, so we will see how far we can go. We have a tough run now against some of the play-off teams in the next run of games.

“I am quite enjoying the individual games at the moment as there is no real pressure on us or the boys.

The Hornets will also attempt to play their Sussex Senior Cup tie at Pagham for a third time on Tuesday night.