Donnelly looks forward to season opener

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There may be a gulf between Brighton & Hove Albion and Shoreham but the Musselmen's boss Sammy Donnelly is happy to dwell on the similarities as he prepares to take on the Premier League club's under-23s in the Sussex Community Shield.

Brighton & Hove Albion vs. Shoreham
Sussex Community Shield in aid of Benevolent Fund
Date: Tuesday 1st August 2017
Kick-off: 7.15pm
Venue: Sussex County FA HQ, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX

Donnelly believes both clubs will have the same objective as they embark on a season at the highest level they have ever attained.

The Albion played in the old Division 1, but few would argue that the Premier League is not a more exclusive competition, and certainly Chris Hughton will be intent on consolidation in their debut season.

As for Shoreham, the vastly experienced manager is relishing the challenge as he becomes the first Shoreham boss to lead the club into Isthmian football in their 135-year history and will also be looking to establish them at that level.

It will not be easy as circumstances have dictated a late start to getting a squad together, but three recent signings have lifted his spirits, and in the first really competitive match of the new campaign, he would like nothing better than to turn the tables and pick up an early piece of silverware.

Donnelly was in charge of Shoreham under-21s last season, and this is the third time he has taken charge of the first team at Middle Road. In a long managerial career he has also served as boss of many Sussex clubs at Isthmian as well as county league level.

"Having taken the young players last season I know what talent is available and will ensure youth is not left behind," he said. "I'm certainly looking to blood one or two at the new level."

Whether that happens at County FA Headquarters against Brighton & Hove Albion's youngsters remains to be seen but it will certainly provide invaluable experience.

Of the game Donnelly said: "It's a big ask but I'm really looking forward to it. In some ways it's better to play teams from a higher standard because you can see how your own players react to the challenge."

And he added: "I'm honoured to be the first manager to lead Shoreham into their first season at this level and hope we can provide the owners, supporters and helpers with plenty to cheer."

Entry prices for the Sussex Community Shield in aid of Benevolent Fund are as follows:
£6.00 Adult (17+)
£3.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
£1.00 Child (16 and under)

For further details about the Sussex Community Shield please contact Competitions':

Competitions'
T: 01903 753547
E: Competitions@SussexFA.com

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