Lovegrove signs for Horsham as squad nears completion with one more and goalkeeper to go

Action from Horsham's pre-season friendly against Dorking Wanderers. Picture by Tommy McMillan
Action from Horsham's pre-season friendly against Dorking Wanderers. Picture by Tommy McMillan

Horsham’s new look squad is all-but complete with Dean Lovegrove the latest to put pen to paper and two more - including a long-awaited goalkeeper - are imminent.

Central midfielder Lovegrove has joined from South Park after impressing during pre-season.

Tyrell Richardson-Brown in action for Horsham against Dorking. Picture by Tommy McMillan

Tyrell Richardson-Brown in action for Horsham against Dorking. Picture by Tommy McMillan

The 29-year-old former MK Dons and Woking youngster, who has also turned out for Worthing, Lewes and even Horsham before under John Maggs, is Dominic Di Paola’s third signing from league rivals South Park this summer.

The Hornets are expected to sign their final trialist at some point this week - who the County Times understands is Tyrell Richardson-Brown.

The vacant goalkeeper spot is also soon to be filled - both Josh Pelling and Brannon Daly have been in between the sticks in pre-season.

Daly played in Saturday’s 5-2 defeat at Dorking Wanderers’ brand-new £5.5m Meadowbank Stadium.

Horsham had led 2-0 at half-time through goals from Chris Smith and Richardson-Brown, but fitness combined with Wanderers’ impressive squad saw them swing the pre-season game in the second half.

They followed that up with a 4-0 win against Wessex Premier League side AFC Portchester on Tuesday night thanks to goals from Josh Hartley, Charlie Harris and a Dean Bown brace.

Di Paola said: “Saturday was a good test - we saw the good and bad. We played a really good side and it was a real step up from what we have done so far. Losing the Burgess Hill game we were a bit behind on fitness, so the second half was what we needed. On Tuesday we were good in spells and played some nice football, again it is building up fitness.”

On the squad and addition of Lovegrove, Di Paola said: “He is an intelligent player as he does a lot of football coaching. He has come in and worked really hard in pre-season and deserved a chance.

“He can play in two or three positions, which is what we look for in a player and has done well.

“That is three South Park players we have signed now and you can see why they have done so well up there.

“They work hard and really work for each other. I am pleased with all the boys from there. Chris Smith was really good on Saturday, but needs a bit of fitness as he has food poisoning now.

“There is one more due to sign and that’s about it - unless someone really interesting comes up, you never know.

“But there are no other triaists training with us now. All the trialists that were here have either signed or not.”

And on adding a goalkeeper to the squad, Di Paola added: “We are almost there with that now.”