Time for a hard-earned break after Di Paola’s ‘hardest season in his career’

Horsham FC manager Dominic Di Paola. 19.09.2015. Pic Steve Robards SR1522351 SUS-150921-091646001
Horsham FC manager Dominic Di Paola. 19.09.2015. Pic Steve Robards SR1522351 SUS-150921-091646001

Horsham boss Dominic Di Paola is ready to take a hard-earned break having completed a tough season with difficult problems he had to overcome.

He has been left frustrated at not having a home ground close to the town where supporters live, which clearly affects the team’s fortunes.

The Hornets boss also voiced his heartache over the number of injuries his squad has suffered, making it difficult to field a consistent team of his choice.

Horsham signed off their season in disappointing style with a 5-2 defeat at home to Whyteleafe which gave them a comfortable mid-table finish in 15th place in the Bostik League South.

Despite finishing in a respectable position given the challenges he has had to face, Di Paola was happy to finally finish the season.

He said: “I want to draw a line below the season and take a break - this has been the hardest season in my career, with injuries to players, being away from home (Lancing) which meant it was difficult for fans to get to and losing players to other clubs.

“I am looking forward to taking a breather after a terrible end to the season - six weeks ago we were 12th but have had a really poor finish.

“We need to take stock, recover and have some time to think - sort out pre-season and decide what we need to do to improve things next season.”

The Horsham boss expects things to improve both on and off the field next season when the new ground at Hop Oast at Horsham Golf and Fitness in the Worthing Road, Horsham, is expected to be completed during the course of the campaign.

It will be a new dawn for football fans in Horsham, having had to endure nearly a decade since they vacated their last Horsham base of their own, Queen Street.

He said: “Next season is looking to be a much better season with the new ground on the horizon. Although it won’t be ready for the start, it is expected to open midway-through the season.”

Di Paola also recognised the fantastic backing the team receive from supporters who keep in remarkably good voice despite poor runs of form.

He said: “I would like to thank our supporters who have been brilliant this season - we are so well supported, even with the ground being away from Horsham.”

Defender Lewis Hyde was voted Supporters’ Player of the Year and was presented with the champagne by president Frank King on Saturday.

The former Petersfield Town player, who missed the last eight matches with a dislocated shoulder, has already committed himself to Di Paola’s side for next season.