Horsham sign ‘experienced’ midfielder and take ‘punt’ on young talent

Graham Martin, Burgess Hill Town FC SUS-150713-150511001
Graham Martin, Burgess Hill Town FC SUS-150713-150511001

Horsham have added an experienced midfielder and also taken a bit of a gamble with one of their latest two signings, according to manager Dominic Di Paola.

Veteran central player Graham Martin has been brought in to strengthen the middle of the park, while former Brighton youngster Jack Rowe-Hurst comes in as an attacking option with a point to prove.

Martin, who was at Burgess Hill as they won the Ryman League South Division last term, boasts a wealth of former clubs including Whitehawk, Lancing, Shoreham and Worthing United.

Di Paola sees him as cover for the injured Kevin Keehan to allow Joe Shelley to push in his favoured role further up the field.

Winger Rowe-Hurst has joined from Peacehaven and the Horsham boss is hoping the young ‘talent’ can bounce back after being released from the Albion’s youth ranks.

He said: “Jack is a bit of a punt if you like, for him and us. He was a real star player at Brighton and it just did not happen for him last season.

“We will see how he gets on and take it week by week.

“There is no doubt he is a real talent, but it’s whether he has got the appetite as it can be a real knock getting released at Brighton and can be hard to come back from for some of these young players.”

”Graham Martin has been about a bit and is an experienced player who was at Burgess Hill last year when they did really well.

“He is a really experienced player, who knows what he is doing and won’t need us to tell him much at his age.

“He is 34 or 35 so is going to be a good signing and it gives us a bit of breathing space as Kev (Keehan) is still struggling with injury and we can’t keep waiting - although obviously we will overall - so it gives us an extra number in there.

“He will be that holding player which frees up Biff (Joe Shelley)to push up the pitch.”

Di Paola is now expecting a tricky home fixture with Pagham on Saturday - who he backs as the best team they’ve faced this season.

He added: “It will be a really tough game.

“I think that they are one of the best teams in the league, but just really inconsistent.

“It’s probably the hardest game we have had all season against them in the Peter Bentley Cup (Horsham won 2-1) and that’s in all competitions, including all the losses.

“Not having a game in two weeks is not ideal as you can train as long as you want, it is not the same effect as playing matches. That’s life though and you have to get on with it.”

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