Selsey manager Steve Bailey is looking to the club’s young stars to repeat their success of last season and keep their place in division one of the Sussex League.
Bailey, who took over as boss in the second half of last season and will be assisted by Ben Pinnington and Colin Mills, is looking forward the new campaign but expects it to be a rollercoaster ride.
He said: “The aim for this season is to consolidate division-one status and get as many youth players playing senior football as possible. We returned to training on July 1 and we’ve have had good numbers. We’ve been working hard on fitness and team shape.”
After an exodus of the club’s senior players last season when previous boss Ryan Pharo was axed, Bailey was forced to put his trust the club’s youth system. This philosophy is one that served him well and is one that looks set to continue.
“Our club philosophy is to promote youth players into the senior set-up so we haven’t actively looked to sign new players, however we are delighted that Dave Rough has joined us from Hunston and Dave Jordan has returned after a season at Pagham.”
The youthful exuberance of the team seems to have rubbed off on Bailey, who added. “I’m really looking forward to the challenge of moulding inexperienced but talented players into a side that can be competitive in a very tough division.
“It’s going to be difficult, and I expect at times frustrating, but eventually fruitful.”
The early part of the season contains a chance of FA Cup glory, which begins on Saturday, August 16, at home to Fisher, a club from East London, in the extra preliminary round. But for Bailey the main priority is the league.
He added “It (last season) was a baptism of fire for the young lads but the experience will be invaluable in the upcoming season.”
Selsey will be wanting to get off to a solid start in the new league season so have organised a very strong-looking pre-season programme, which includes games against Bosham, Midhurst and Sidlesham.
The first friendly kicks off at 3pm this Saturday, July 12, at home to Uckfield.