Worthing Football Club feel they are already reaping the benefits of Adam Hinshelwood returning as the club’s manager last year.
The 34-year-old returned to Woodside Road in September when the club were bottom of the Bostik League Premier Division with just one point from nine matches. Hinshelwood soon turned things around as Worthing finished the season in 16th place, with 57 points from their 46 games.
After Gary Elphick resigned last year, Worthing interviewed other candidates interested in becoming manager but their number one choice all along was Hinshelwood. He was in charge at the club for 18 months in his first spell from 2013 to 2015 before he took the assistant manager’s job with Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-18 team.
Hinshelwood left the Seagulls to become Hastings boss on a three-year contract in May last year. Owing to their pitch issues at the start of last season, Worthing admit they were not in the best financial position when they moved to get Hinshelwood back but felt appointing the former Albion professional again was the best long-term move for the club.
Hinshelwood committed his future to the club in April when he signed a three-year contract to be first-team boss and academy manager.
Worthing chairman Pete Stone said: “When Gary left, we had alternatives. Other people were interested and we interviewed other people but if the club is going to go anywhere, you have to have that figurehead who is attractive to players and attractive to fans so you can build some momentum.
“We can do so much off the pitch but it all starts with the first team.
“Getting Hinsh back wasn’t just because of his qualities as a football manager, it’s how he is as a person as well and we feel we’ve got the spine of the club together now. That was why we were so keen to get him. It cost us financially at a time when we couldn’t have been in a worse financial situation but we found ways of making it happen.
“I think he’s right up there (with the best non-league managers), he probably lacks some of the years on the clock that others have got around the National League. But he has the ability to set up, coach and hopefully in the future lead a squad of National League players here.”
This summer Worthing have had interest from players higher up the football pyramid interested in joining the club and managing director Calvin Buckland feels that is a result of having Hinshelwood back.
Worthing hope to be challenging at the top end of the Bostik League Premier Division next season and Buckland said: “On the pitch we are pretty much where we would hope to be.
“Getting Hinsh in last year was critical if we wanted to move forward as we need to have the best people in place. It wasn’t cheap, it wasn’t something we budgeted for at the start of the season but it was what was needed. We’re all quite comfortable that we feel we’ve got the best young manager and coach probably in the south of England. That’s how strongly I feel about it.
“He ticks so many boxes for us. He has a real family ethos and there’s no airs and graces about him. If he sees me doing something around the ground when he comes in early, he’ll jump straight in and help me.
“On top of being a good guy, he’s an excellent coach and manager as well.
“We’re lucky to have him.”