Chichester delighted to land Pagham duo

Scott Murfin takes a Pagham penalty / Picture by Roger Smith
Scott Murfin takes a Pagham penalty / Picture by Roger Smith
  • Pearce happy to add Murfin and French to ranks
  • Top-six finish wanted at Oaklands Park
  • First friendly on July 11

Chichester City have secured a big double signing by recruiting goal ace Scott Murfin and versatile Ruben French from Pagham.

Both players have signed for City from their Sussex League division-one local rivals.

Striker Murfin, who used to play for Chichester’s youth team, bagged 34 goals in 42 games for Pagham last season and has been a big part of their squad for the past five years.

French will strengthen Chichester’s back-line but can also be a useful operator in midfield. He has spent the past two-and-a- half seasons with Pagham.

The double boost is a signal of intent from Chichester that they mean business in the new season – while it will give Lions fans plenty to think about as two key men depart.

Chichester manager Daren Pearce had only positive things to say about both new signings, saying they will bring quality to the squad.

“Both players add the right quality to the team and are both from the local area,” said Pearce.

“Scott adds a cutting edge up front and his goalscoring record shows that, where as Ruben has a wand of a left foot and is a set-piece specialist.”

Pearce felt he needed to strengthen a squad who last season were found lacking at times at both ends of the pitch.

Their goal difference in 2014-15 was poor and showed the need for an improved squad, he said.

“We have signed them for a reason – they are the right people for the squad. We may be looking at other lads to join, but will not sign six or seven players if they are not of the right quality.

“There are places up for grabs in the squad and I hope to keep all the players we currently have.”

Murfin has previously played for Chichester under-18’, winning the league and county cup with them before going on to playing for the first team.

Since then he has played for Wick, Worthing, Gosport and Pagham. He has gathered many honours, including being a league cup winner, league winner and county league top goalscorer.

Murfin told the Observer: “I’m delighted to be back, especially with Pearcey again. I’m hoping to bring back some good times for the club, score plenty of goals and to put a smile back on the Chichester supporters’ faces.”

French, who played for Brighton as a youngster, has had spells with clubs including Bognor, Burgess Hill and Wick.

He said: “I’m hoping to play as many games as possible and to be consistent with how I play. Scott and I have a good partnership together so it was great to move with him.”

Both players said they wanted to help Chichester achieve a top-six finish in county division-one – which would be City’s best showing for several seasons – and have a decent cup run.

Chichester’s first friendly is away to Christchurch on July 11, followed by a home game against Winchester on July 18.

BEN PETT

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