New and old faces at Horsham have made a ‘complete squad’

Hockey South Premier Division 1: Horsham v Old Cranleighans. team manager Al Campbell. Pic Steve Robards SR1704396 SUS-170603-123024001
Hockey South Premier Division 1: Horsham v Old Cranleighans. team manager Al Campbell. Pic Steve Robards SR1704396 SUS-170603-123024001

Following a disappointing season in which Horsham were relegated from South Premiership Division 1, the team for the coming term has a refreshed look with up to six different names on the teamsheet.

It’s not entirely a new look as the squad welcome back four alumni from its colts’ section from university, all who proved themselves at first-team level in their time.

It would not be a Horsham team without at least one Chinn in the squad.

They lose budding star Joel, who goes off to University next month, but he is replaced by both of his siblings, Zak and Noah.

Both played in Horsham’s promotion years and Zak will add punch to the frontline while Noah brings stability to the back.

Also returning is Toby Fraser after an indeterminate number of years at various educational establishments.

Quick and fit, he will drop into the midfield.

The final old boy is Jack Dean, who had one of the finest goalscoring records in the league – although his full-time availability is yet to be fully confirmed. New team captain Rob Turnbull has also been recruited over the summer. With last year’s coach and goalkeeper Andrew Isaacs departed to become player-coach at Lewes, the team were concerned to find a new net-minder.

But they have secured a great replacement in Jack Edgerton.

Tall and athletic, Edgerton joins from being second team keeper at East Grinstead.

Also new to the roster is Ed Marsh who transfers from Canterbury.

One position the club have not yet fully filled, despite an exhaustive search, is that of coach.

Their previous player-coach Dom Male has stepped back into the role of training the team, although he will not be available on match days.

“So many potential coaches are still actively playing top level hockey,” Rob Turnbull explained. “We’ll keep on looking throughout the season.”

Matchday cover did not seem too much of a problem as Horsham played a training game against high-flying St Albans at Worth School last Saturday.

On a very hot day three intense periods were played with St Albans edging the goals but the home side giving as good as it got throughout the game.

Manager Al Campbell says the team’s objective this season is to ‘be competitive’ at this lower level.

“It’s early days yet but it’s great to finally get guys coming back from uni rather than losing them,” he said.

“This looks to be the most complete squad we have fielded for many seasons and we have 18-20 young, fit, skilled and mature men competing for selection.”

On Saturday, Horsham host Barnes at Christ’s Hospital in the last of their pre-season friendlies (1.30pm).