Honoured Di Paola wants to bring back the glory days

L18813H14''John O'Hara Cup final at Shoreham on Monday East Preston v Crowborough action from the game SUS-140505-151414002
L18813H14''John O'Hara Cup final at Shoreham on Monday East Preston v Crowborough action from the game SUS-140505-151414002

New Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola says he is at the club for the long haul and wants to bring back the glory days.

The former East Preston and Hastings United boss was unveiled as the new man at the Hornets helm on Tuesday night.

It is all set up to do well and if we can get the ground, then in the long-term it looks a very positive position.

Dominic Di Paola

The appointment came just 24 hours after joint managers Anthony Storey and Cliff Cant were axed despite the Easter Monday win over Corinthian Casuals.

With the club on the brink of relegation into the County League, Di Paola has a proven track record at that level having taken East Preston to their maiden title last season, before an unsuccessful spell at Hastings midway through this season.

The 34-year-old joins with trusty management team Ian Browne, Jan Miller and Adam Westwood and Di Paola admitted it’s an honour to be in charge at the club.

He said: “It’s mental to see where they sit now. There is such potential as a club and I used to watch them against Swansea and teams in the FA Cup as well as the Ryman Premier. It’s sad to think we could be playing at Step 5.

“Hastings everyone warned me about, but everyone I have spoken to about Horsham has said what a great club it is, with good people and patient and supportive fans.

“It is all set up to do well and if we can get the ground, then in the long-term it looks a very positive position. It’s a big honour to be asked and tasked with it.

“If we do drop down - there will not be a better club to be at at that level. Hopefully, we can start fresh and have a decent team that can give it a real go.

“We (as a management team) have not had a good year and they have had a tough few years, so we are both looking to bounce back.

“I am not used to not having cup finals and that to play for at this time of year. We had a month and a half off (after Hastings) and I enjoyed the break. I had become a bit disillusioned with it, but it doesn’t take long until you get the bug back again.

“Browner (Ian Browne) is worse than me and we are refreshed and raring to go to get things back on track.”

Di Paola took Clymping into the County League in his mid 20s and to the Division 3 title within a year.

After a year with his former club Worthing United where they were promoted to Division 1, he moved across to EP to win the Division 2 league and cup double before more success in Division 1.

Horsham need to win their final three games to stay in the Ryman League and hope all other results will go their way.

That is unlikely and Di Paola added: “We can see how it is run on a day-to-day basis with three games to get out of the way. Obviously we want to win all three games, but we realise that will not be easy to do with a bunch of players that do not know us from Adam.

“I have already spoken to 11 players that have said they were going to play and I have another chunk to get hold of, hopefully they will all commit to the end of the season and we can go from there.”