Player consistency aim has failed this season, but Hornets’ new home will help

Horsham FC. Dominic di Paola. Pic Steve Robards SR1720461 SUS-170829-111246001
Horsham FC. Dominic di Paola. Pic Steve Robards SR1720461 SUS-170829-111246001

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola has revealed they have failed in one of his aims this season - player consistency.

The Hornets honcho set two targets at the start of the season - consistency on the pitch, which gets a green tick, and not having such a high player turnover, which has fallen on the red cross side of things.

With a top-half finish well in their sights, Horsham have not once flirted with a relegation battle this season and despite playing at Culver Road in Lancing, have put some good runs of form together.

On the player side, however, there have been plenty of comings and goings, but that can again, be placed at the door of having no home.

In turn, as a result of having no under-21 or reserve side, it means that keeping players happy, fit and on the pitch proves tricky.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel with preliminary work underway at the club’s new home at Horsham Golf & Fitness, near Hop Oast.

Archaeological research has taken place along with ecology work, netting being put in place and some early ground works, with the project now undergoing pre-commencement paperwork.

That news can give both the manager and club a lift as they look to build for the future and look ahead to welcoming back the many advantages of having their own home.

Di Paola said: “The ground is making progress and it feels positive.

“It’s been a hard season, it’s been one of my toughest in management. I don’t think being in Lancing has been particularly good.

“The gates are down and the atmosphere as a result is not as good. Lancing themselves have been great, but we have about 100 less people in at every home game.

“It’s a long day to get to Lancing and you miss out on people popping in to watch, it will be nice to get home. The supporters, who are great, are desperate to get back home.”

The manager continued: “We have managed to achieve some form of consistency which was one of our aims this season. The other was to have not as high of a turnover of players, which we haven’t achieved and that is highly frustrating.

“Hopefully there will be a time when we can go back to that. When we won the county league we used 22 players in all competitions - I think we used that in the first few weeks this season.

“You need consistency. With Lewes I can name what their team will be each week. Football is all about forming partnerships on the pitch.

“Your centre-halves and central midfielders, left-back and left midfield - they are settled in knowing in each other and playing together.

“When we have a settled side we have seen good results and it is something we have to strive for.”