By Graham Carter
New Crawley Down Gatwick manager James Day is aiming to build on the good work down over the last few years by Paul Cooper, who stepped down to spend more time with his family.
This will be Day’s first job as a first team manager, having served as Cooper’s assistant and as a player.
Day, 33, is not expecting to play himself unless in an emergency, so is officially hanging up his boots.
He has bolstered the squad with the addition of a few players who had been out of the game with long-term injuries, plus a few youngsters from other clubs, looking to make the transition to first team football at Southern Combination League Premier Division level.
The club is continuing to recruit from the local area such as Crawley, Horsham and Crawley Down.
He said: “We have brought in some young players like central midfielder George Wallace (East Grinstead), central midfielder Toby Hill and attacking midfielder Kieran Steers.
“After finishing 13th last season Our target is a top-ten finish with a good cup run, to play some good football and work hard. We want to see progression.”
Among the returnees from long-term injury are: Josh Brown and (former captain) Blair Cooney.
Crawley Down’s pre-season campaign has included a win against St Francis Rangers on July 17, losing 1-0 against Hythe Town on July 21 and Redhill (away) on July 24 before drawing 0-0 against Copthorne at Ardingly on Saturday (July 28.)
Crawley Down Gatwick play their first competitive league game of the season at home this Saturday, August 4, kick-off at the Haven Centre at 3pm.