Horsham YMCA may have to explore the loan market in a combined bid to retain the squad’s togetherness and avoid a repeat of last year’s failed title charge, according to boss Peter Buckland.
The 2017/18 season saw the Gorings Mead-outfit top of the Premier Division going into the Christmas period but postponements and a lengthy injury list saw YM eventually finish fourth.
Buckland has recently enthused about the attitude of his table-topping side but felt to keep this spirit, and continue their title tilt, he would pursue loan deals.
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He said: “I’m trying to plan ahead and think if I need to get other people in for cover. It’s very hard though.
“You can drag people in and use them for a couple of games but then your stalwarts come back.
“You sometimes get ‘Why’s he playing? I’ve been here three years’ so I guess loan players is the answer without upsetting the apple cart.
“I’m just determined that if we miss out this year that it isn’t because of the same conundrum we faced last year. If that means getting loan players in then so be it.
“At least with loan players it’s on the understanding that they are on loan for a few games as opposed to upsetting your hardcore players.”
YMCA’s trip to Hassocks on Saturday was called off due to a waterlogged pitch. With a huge home game between YM in first and Newhaven in second this Saturday, Buckland called the postponement ahead of this match a ‘Catch-22’ situation.
He added: “I’m sure Hassocks would have been as motivated for the game as we were, but we were looking forward to keeping the momentum going.
“We also had a couple of players who were on one game bans which would have been served. Callum Donaghey, Ollie Gill are both suspended for Newhaven; Tom Gilbert is still a long-term injury; and Dan Mobsby and Sam Schaaf are not available due to work commitments.
“It was Catch-22 because Ash Dugdale wouldn’t have been able to start against Hassocks because he is still carrying a knock, as was Luke Donaldson. On the plus side, I think they will both be available for selection against Newhaven.”
Haven have amassed 38 points from 16 games, four points off YM with a game in hand, and are unbeaten in four in the league.
Buckland is naturally expecting a close encounter and wants his side to carry on their ‘gung-ho’ approach.
He said: “I was looking back through the records actually and it’s nip and tuck with regards to wins and draws for each other.
“We don’t want to settle for a point. We only play one way and that’s gung-ho so we’ll be going for it.
“It won’t be a season changer. No medals are handed out in December but I will say if we start the way we did at Arundel and at home to Little Common then we will stand a great chance.”