The Sussex Community Shield in aid of the Sussex Disability Football League is due to take place on Wednesday 2 August 2023 between Worthing and Broadbridge Heath.
Worthing vs. Broadbridge Heath
Sussex Community Shield in aid of the Sussex Disability Football League
Date: Wednesday 2 August 2023
Venue: Sussex County FA HQ, Culver Road, Lancing, West Sussex, BN15 9AX
If the last few seasons are anything to go by, Worthing fans should have plenty to be excited about coming into the new campaign.
“Last season was a great one for the club,” said manager Adam Hinshelwood, “but of course it’s still tinged with that little bit of regret that we weren’t able to get over the line.
“However, the way we see it, with that experience now behind us and the lessons we’ve been able to learn from it, we’re in an even better position this season to go one step further and continue building something special here.”
It’s been a summer of change both on and off the pitch for Worthing, with one notable addition being to the coaching staff, in the figure of former player/coach, Gary Elphick.
“I’ve obviously known Gary a long time, and we had a chat in the summer, and I thought it was a position he could come in and help us with, in terms of helping improve our defence, and continuing the work that Darren Budd was doing before he departed the club.
“It’s going to be great having him back at the club and having someone with a fresh voice around for the players to learn from.”
In terms of the players, it’s been a similarly productive summer for the Rebels, with the club quick to tie down key figures in the dressing room such as Kane Wills, Jake Robinson and Joel Colbran.
“Yeah, we’re really happy to have the likes of Kane, Jake and Joel committed for another season.
“Speaking to players, having seen the level we performed at last season, helped show them what we’re capable of here at the club.
“That core of players are also now more experienced and are used to doing well for us and being successful.”
Of course, with another demanding season on the horizon for Hinshelwood’s men, new additions were going to be vital, and the club were quick to act and bolster his side.
“Up front it’s been great to bring in Joan Luque, Nicky Wheeler and Greg Luer, who all bring with them experience of playing at a high level, which will be vital going into this campaign.
“We’re lucky, because we’ve got a great balance of those players with that bit of extra experience, and those younger players who’ve got a real hunger to keep growing with us.
“But definitely, by bringing in those lads with the know-how at this level, could be a real game changer for us, and will also still allow us to keep fielding our younger players and keep developing them.”
Of course, at the time of writing, it’s still early days in Worthing’s pre-season, but despite that, it’s been a productive first few weeks.
“There’s a great mood in camp early doors,” said Hinshelwood, “both old and new players are all working well together, and our first game, against Brighton & Hove Albion’s Under-21s, reflected that, and we were comfortable winners.
“Indeed, I was worried we peaked too early after that performance, but then in our next game against Bognor Regis Town, we really dropped off and were handed a 2-0 defeat.
“But the key thing is you’re getting valuable minutes into a lot of players, and I’m pleased that those kinds of results are happening now, because you learn more from those defeats than victories sometimes, because you can go into the season with something of a false sense of confidence if you’re just winning all the time.
“So it could be that being beaten by our rivals at home might turn out to be the best thing that happened all pre-season!”
Of course, that pre-season will culminate here at Culver Road, when Hinshelwood’s side take on Broadbridge Heath, so just what kind of test is he expecting against the Southern Combination Football League champions?
“They’re obviously a team, like ourselves, who are used to winning games of football,” he said, “and when you’re in that form and in that mood, you don’t want to drop, so they’ll be determined to continue their season where they left off.
“So for them, what better way to keep that momentum going than beating ourselves, so that’s something our players are going to have to contend with if we’re going to come away with a result and make it a great day for our supporters!”
Entry prices for the final are as follows (cash and card accepted):
£10.00 Adult (17+)
£5.00 Concession (65+ and students with valid student ID card)
£3.00 Child (16 and under)
£1.00 Official Match Day Programme
For further details about the Sussex Community Shield please contact:
T: 01903 753547