Adam Hinshelwood believes Worthing can achieve promotion next season after his side missed out on this year’s Bostik Premier Division play-offs following a 4-2 defeat to Merstham.
Worthing were unable to make the most of Bishop’s Stortford’s loss at Carshalton Athletic, with their Surrey opponents leapfrogging the Essex side instead to claim the final play-off place.
The Mackerel Men finished ninth and are the highest-placing Sussex club in the division. Worthing manager Hinshelwood said: “I think it’s important that we’re progressing.
“We’ve got 65 points this year and will be looking to improve on that next season but I think it would be wrong to say we’re going all out for promotion.
“The resources that we’ve got aren’t quite there yet but when they are there I think promotion will be a bit more realistic and attainable. It’s something that we look to improve on, and look to do, but only when the club is able to do so.”
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Worthing have also been boosted by a 51% increase in attendance figures this season. Their average home attendance of 908 is the highest in the league and Hinshelwood believes the large crowds will help recruit new players over the summer.
He said: “Other than the two league clubs in Sussex (Crawley and Brighton), we’re the highest supported side in the county. The atmosphere that they [the fans] generate when things are going well is uncomparable at this level so I’m really grateful for that.
“It’s a big factor in recruiting players to come to us as they’ll know about the facilities and the crowd that we’ve got at Worthing. Any player wants to play as a high a level as they can, and play in a special, big atmosphere, but it can also have the adverse effect where maybe it adds a bit more pressure.
“The young side we have sometimes feed off of it but when things aren’t going our way, when we go a goal behind, they rely on the fans to get us going again.”