Youthful approach is the route for Littlehampton

Littlehampton celebrate a goal in the friendly draw with Worthing. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Littlehampton celebrate a goal in the friendly draw with Worthing. Picture by Stephen Goodger

Mark Bennett is optimistic Littlehampton Town’s faith in youth will pay dividends this season.

The club have launched an under-23s team for the upcoming campaign and placed an emphasis on bringing some of the most exciting prospects to The Sportsfield over the summer.

Bennett, who guided the Golds to the Sussex County League title back in 2015 during a previous spell in charge, returned to the club as interim manager in October.

Yet saw out the season and will lead the club this term as they plot a route out of the SCFL Division 1.

In an attempt to go in a different direction from their approach previously, Bennett has brought together a largely young crop of players that he hopes can challenge for titles from this season.

He said: “We have had a major overhaul at the club.

“We’re moving in a different direction, have started an under-23s side and have signed on as many young, local players as we can for the first team.

“Our aim is to build a team that competes for trophies and try to get out of this league whilst blooding under-23s into the team.”

Harry Russell, Dion Jarvis and Ben Gray have all arrived from rivals Arundel as the Golds aim to mount a title charge.

The youthful theme continued with Bennett also complete the signings of Lucas Pattenden, Callum Litterick Craig Nagle, James McKernan, James Thurgar Toby Funnell, Jack Collins, Charlie Williamson, Sam Pidgeon and Jordan Layton.

But a healthy mix of experience members will make up the squad.

Sussex County League winners Dave Herbert and Liam Humphreys are back at the club. Adding to that, players with higher level experience in Alex Duncan and James Binfield could have a key part in the development of a young core.

Meanwhile, Mitch Hand and George Gaskin are part of Bennett’s management team.

Littlehampton start their quest for SCFL Division 1 glory at Hailsham on Saturday.

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