Chichester City are flying - but players are told: Just keep smiling

Chi City on the attack at Burgess Hill, where they won 2-1 / Picture by Neil Holmes
Chi City on the attack at Burgess Hill, where they won 2-1 / Picture by Neil Holmes

Graeme Gee hailed a winning weekend in cup and league football for Chichester City and told his players: Keep on enjoying it.

City’s assistant boss said management and players were delighted with a 7-2 FA Cup win at Bridon Ropes and a 2-1 Isthmian League south-east division triumph at Burgess Hill.

The win over the Hillians leaves City sixth in the table and increases the feelgood factor at Oaklands Park that’s also been boosted by the signing of a new lease on the ground with Chichester District Council.

They now have a chance to extend their flying start with three home games in eight days – against Faversham in the league on Saturday, Hastings in the Velocity Trophy on Tuesday and Chalfont St Peter in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup a week Saturday.

City have been hindered by injuries – Jamie Horncastle and Callum Overton both picked up knee problems at Bridon which require further investigation and Ryan Peake and Josh Clack are both a little way off being fully fit - but youngsters who have stepped into the team like Theo Bennetts, Ryan Davidson and Lloyd Rowlatt have also done superbly.

Gee said: “We were delighted with both wins over the weekend. There’s such a good feel about the club, everyone’s singing from the same hymnsheet. The new lease is massive for us and everyone who helps run the place should take credit for that.

“We’re just going to enjoy being in this league. We’ll be respectful of all the sides we play and take it one game at a time.

“We know that in the course of the season we will lose a lot of games and concede a lot of goals. It’s not like in the county league where we lost very rarely last season. We have to be ready for bad runs of results but I think we will cope with that.

“There’s a strong bond forming between the management and the players and we are really happy with the quality of the squad we have mananaged to put together. We believe we have a lot of the best local talent around, after Worthing and Bognor.

“There are some teams in our division who are able to shop at M&S and Waitrose but we’re shopping at Aldi and Lidl. But we’re so happy with what we’ve been able to acquire.

“We keep telling the players to play with a smaile on their faces. They’ve got full-time jobs away from football and playing for us is a release for them. They should give it everything but make sure they enjoy it.”