Green and Whites eyeing promotion as champions

JPCT 221114 S14490586x Rugby, London 3 South East: Horsham v Gillingham Anchorians -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141124-092330001
JPCT 221114 S14490586x Rugby, London 3 South East: Horsham v Gillingham Anchorians -photo by Steve Cobb SUS-141124-092330001

Horsham head coach Nick Stocker admits it would be a travesty if his high-flying side were not to seal promotion this season.

The Green and Whites lead the London 3 South East table with just six games left to play and – disaster aside – are a shoe-in to be one of the two sides to step up a division.

Stocker has remained cautious throughout the season on their title chances, but has revealed they have the crown firmly in their sights and are targeting a historic league and cup double.

The Hammerpond Road club, who return to league action at third place Bromley on Saturday, want to be promoted as champions, but are remaining coy on how many wins will see them crowned champions.

Stocker, who has seen his side lose just one game all season and amass 73 points from their 15 wins, said: “All I can say is that we are certainly in pole position and seven points clear at the top of the league with six games to go.

“There is also a 19-point gap between first and third and with the top-two going up, we really are potentially looking at the promotion aspirations now, that’s certainly what the club is striving for.

“It would be a travesty now if we did not get promoted, but what we want to do now is go up as champions.

“We have not really looked at a win target, but a lot of the top half have to play each other.

“For us it’s about keeping focused on doing what we have to do. We have a very tough fixture at Bromley this weekend and they are in the final of the Senior Vase as well, which is what we were knocked out of the other week.

“If we win the next two games, that’s guaranteed promotion and there are then four games left. Considering other teams may slip up and will take points off each other we may only need to win four out of six to take the title.

“It’s an old cliché, but we really are taking every game as it comes.

“After the Folkestone game on February 28, we will have a much clearer idea of where we are on promotion and the title as a lot of the other teams would have played each other.

“At the end of the season, we are playing mid-table teams in the run-in and finish with Hastings, who are really struggling for form. The run of games definitely eases up for us.”

A promotion this season would see the club attaining their highest level for 20 years after playing in the equivalent of London 1 in the 1990s.

The Coolhurst side is also looking in good strength for the run-in with Johnny Whiting returning to full fitness and Richard Tredgett back after suffering an ankle injury in December.

They also have ambitions to retain the Bob Rogers Sussex Cup after booking their spot in the final at the start of the month.

Stocker added: “It’s really exciting as we have a number of players returning. We have good availability across the backs as well as players that can contribute to the team making themselves available.

“We also have the cup final on May 9 and we are setting our sights firmly on a historic league and cup double.”