New-look Billingshurst ‘won’t be bottom half again’

Billingshurst Football Club's Chris Spiers
Billingshurst Football Club's Chris Spiers

A new-look Billingshurst are all set for the season and have made assurances they won’t be battling at the wrong end of the table again.

New ‘Hurst boss Luis Freitas has had a summer overhaul of the squad at Jubilee Fields and is hoping for a successful season in Division 1.

They kick-off their new campaign away to Hailsham Town on Saturday and there will be a number of new faces on show.

The changes are to help put behind them a difficult last season where they finished 16th just two points above the drop, leading previous boss Chris Simmons to resign.

Freitas, who was recently coaching at Haywards Heath Town, has been appointed as his predecessor and is hoping that a consistent first team will be a benefit to his side’s ambitions.

Joining the club are attacking midfielder Joseph Bagwell, from Rudgewick, ex-Nottingham Forest youth midfielder David Boeteng, Johnny da Silva, Nic da Silva, Keanu de Oliveira Carom and Derrick Kaboggoza, all former Three Bridges under-23 and under-21 players.

Centre-back Matt Rendell has made the switch from Alfold, along with attacking midfielder Chris Spiers. Goalkeepers Martin Hopkins, formerly of Crawley Down Gatwick and Wisborough Green and Josh Measor, a ex-Shoreham and Lancing stopper.

Attacking duo Alin Obreja and Dumitru Vaduva have also joined the club along with centre-back Costin Somoiag, who Freitas spotted playing in the Crawley League.

Players remaining from last season are Jamie Bennett, Fred Bowles, Harry Bowles, who will captain the side, Tom Bradshaw, Harry Bryant, Ben Simester, Nick Tilley, Jordan Stallibrass and Jake Chadwick.

‘Hurst’s impressive pre-season has seen them beat Eastbourne United 8-0, Horsham YMCA 2-0 and Angmering Seniors 4-2. They also drew 1-1 with Arundel and lost 3-2 to Crawley Down Gatwick and 4-2 to Lancing.

Freitas has been delighted with the way things have gone since taking the job.

He said: “Overall as my first job as first manager I could not have asked for a better pre-season, I really can’t wait for Saturday to come around when it will be for real.

“The players are buying into my possession-based style and high pressing which always helps and my team won’t change at all now.

“The aim is to get as high up the table as possible and see where we end up, one thing is for sure, we won’t be at the bottom half of the table again fighting our lives, that’s one thing I will make sure of.”