Storrington manager Paine satisfied with Shield performances and progression
Manager Bob Paine was more than satisfied with Storrington’s performances in the SCFL Division 1 Supplementary Shield, and the progression the club has made in his first season in charge.
Although the Swans finished bottom of their group, the club blooded a clutch of youngsters and gave much-needed match time to players returning from injury.
He said: “Although the results in the Shield could have been better, if we look at the bigger picture I’m more than satisfied.
“We have rotated the squad and used 22 players throughout the competition and given some valuable senior game time to our young players which will be good experience for them going into next season.
“We have also been able to give some minutes to a couple of our long term injured players which again will help them on their road to full fitness.
“Overall it has been a useful exercise and served its purpose for us as it was more about looking forward than the here and now.”
Paine returned to Storrington for a second spell in charge in May 2020.
The Swans boss admitted that the curtailed campaign had been challenging, but was pleased with how far the club has come.
He added: “It has been a very challenging first season for me and my management team having to rebuild the squad when we took over in the summer and the stop-start season due to Covid.
“The most disappointing issue this season was being fined £250 by the SCFL for failing to fulfil a fixture due to a Covid outbreak.
“I’m very happy how we have progressed and the support I get from Nigel (Dyer, chairman) and his team has been first class.
“Before the season was finally curtailed we had started to turn the corner with three wins in five games after a difficult start.”
Storrington ended their season on a high, coming from behind to beat Dorking Wanderers Academy 4-3 in a friendly.
Paine said: “Coming back from being a goal down three times showed great character to win the match ten minutes from the end.
“We used a squad of 21 players with the Swans goals coming from Archie Thorpe, James Henton, Ryan Preddy and Louis Bransbury.”
The Swans boss was now eagerly-anticipating the 2021-22 season, and hoped his young team could shine in a full campaign.
Paine added: "We now look forward to a rest after six games in three weeks, planning pre-season and the new season ahead.
"We are now in a far better position in terms of strength and numbers in the squad than we were when we took over.
"We are a young squad and with the addition of a couple of more experienced players there is no reason we why shouldn’t continue the form we showed just before the season was curtailed.
"With the league starting a week earlier next season on July 31 we start pre-season training week-commencing June 21, and hope that we get a full season without any interruptions something I’m sure we are all hoping and looking forward to.