New signing James Fraser is excited about the challenge ahead at Worthing Football Club as he returns to Woodside Road after an 11-year absence last week.
The 28-year-old midfielder began his senior career with Worthing and stand-out performances saw him join Bristol Rovers on a two-year contract aged 17.
He did not play for the Pirates before spells with Eastbourne Borough, Lewes, Whitehawk and Burgess Hill. He re-joined Bognor Regis last summer, helping the Rocks to promotion into National South, but has now returned to Worthing owing to travel and football reasons.
He said: “I’m excited. I left Bognor on good terms and I can only say good things about that club, they treated me very well and were absolutely brilliant but now I’ve come here.
“It’s for travel reasons as well as football and I’m excited. Worthing is a massive club, for me one of the biggest in Sussex, and I’m excited to play here again.
“It was 11 years ago I was here and a lot of things have happened since but I’m looking forward to playing here with the team.
“I played in the youth team here and broke through when Danny Bloor was the manager.
“It’s a really good club, great fans, great facilities, a nice flat pitch every other week to play on, so it’s exciting times.
“And I’ve known Gary (Elphick; Worthing manager) for quite a few years. I played with him and I like the way he plays football and the way he goes about doing things.”
Fraser, who scored 26 goals last season, feels he is reaching his peak and believes Worthing can be competing at the top of the Ryman League Premier Division next season.
He said: “We’ll try to give it a good push. With a few more good signings, I think we can go for the play-offs and give it a good go.
“We’ll look to have a good cup run again, which is always good for the club and the players and that’s the aim. Hopefully we’ll get promoted but we’ll just look to have a good pre-season, get off to a good start and see how things go.”
Having made the move from Worthing’s big rivals, Bognor, Fraser is aiming to quickly have the Woodside Road faithful behind him again and said: “When I went back to Bognor last summer, I had a bit of stick as some of the fans weren’t too sure about my signing.
“But at the end of the season they couldn’t have thanked me enough. Sometimes things like that help because you want to prove people wrong and it gives you an incentive to work even harder and try even harder to achieve things.
“I don’t think it’s a bad thing and it’s the same here. I’m excited to play in front of the Worthing fans again, they’re great fans and are noisy which always helps when you’re on the pitch.”
Worthing hope to complete a deal for a striker/winger this week and could boost their squad further with more signings next week.
Worthing begin their pre-season friendlies at home to Worthing United on July 4.
Other confirmed fixtures, July 8: Bognor (H); 21, Eastbourne Borough (a); 25, Lewes (H); 29, Horsham (H); August 5, Hastings (a).