Loxwood aiming 'higher than mid-table' next season

Loxwood manager Alex Walsh. Picture by Steve Robards
Loxwood manager Alex Walsh. Picture by Steve Robards

Alex Walsh revealed that a good start to the 2019/20 Premier Division campaign could see Loxwood ‘finish higher than mid-table’.

The Magpies finished in 17th-place last term, four points above the drop zone, but the Plaistow Road outfit were victorious just once in their opening 11 games before Walsh’s appointment in October.

The Loxwood manager revealed that, with a little improvement, the Magpies could be looking at a lofty position in the table if they ‘stick to the process’.

Walsh said: “I think we can finish higher than mid-table. It’s a case of improving from last season.

“Between the squad we’ve got an aim but I think the first ten games will dictate roughly where we’re going to be in the season.

“We’ve done our research on what the points tally needs to be to be up and around there.

“We had an average age of 21 last year, so we had a very young squad and that’s something I want to improve.

“I have faith in the youngsters but looking at other sides a little bit of experience will help us to be a better side as well.

“If we can stick to that process and get off to a great start to the season we’ll be in with a shout.”

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The off-season has seen a number of players commit to and leave the club. Keeper Liam Matthews, stalwart Eddie French, livewire Tom Frankland, and 2018/19 player of the season Josh Courtney will return to the Magpies next season.

But a quartet of integral players have decided to seek pastures new, with Walsh describing one departure as ‘a big loss’.

He added: “We’ve got a few boys who have committed for next season from last year and have agreed to stay on, which is really pleasing.

“But Matt Boiling has gone over to Haywards Heath this year and Max Miller has gone over to Burgess Hill.

“We’ve also lost a couple of boys who have gone back to university. Hugo Cowan our captain is going back to Swansea, so that’s a big loss, and Vincent Follea is going back to London to finish his course.

“The one who has come back from university is Matt Hards. He played at the start of last season but went away to university.

“He’s back now and he’s looked good in training so we’re pleased to have him back on the scene.”

Loxwood began pre-season with a 4-2 win over AFC Varndeanians on July 4 before suffering a 5-0 loss at Guildford City last Saturday.

The Magpies take on National League Premier side Sutton United at Ardingly College on Saturday (3pm).