Paine wants EP squad to embrace new test

Kris Harding is one player from last year's East Preston side to once again sign with the club
Kris Harding is one player from last year's East Preston side to once again sign with the club

Bob Paine wants his young East Preston Football Club squad to continue a passing philosophy in their Southern Combination League Division 1 push this term.

A turbulent couple of seasons for EP saw them struggle before suffering relegation last term.

Following that plight, former head coach Paul Ettridge lost his job with Worthing under-21 boss Paine being handed the role.

A busy summer has seen a mass shake-up as EP’s manager has assembled a young squad, bringing several of his team from last season with him.

As well as recruiting a number of under-21 players, Paine has also kept a large number of young players from last term’s team at The Lashmar.

East Preston’s boss likes his teams to play football the right way, though admitting it may be difficult next year he hopes they can be successful by playing the right way.

He said: “For many of the players I’ve got, this is going to be their first step into senior football.

“This division is very physical, with a lot of experienced players at county level who want to be given the run around by younger guys.

“I’m under no illusion it’s going to be easy but I want my side to play the right way.”

With such a new side being assembled and for many a step into the unknown with senior football, Paine is not placing any pressure on his young team.

He added: “Most of these guys are 19, 20 or 21 and have not been involved in senior football before.

“It’s going to be a massive step for many of them but it’s time to test themselves at this level now.

“Many have had offers from higher level clubs but I have to give those great credit for coming to join me here and buying into the club.”

Paine gets his competitive EP tenure under way with a home extra-preliminary round FA Cup clash with Combined Counties League Premier Division side Horley Town on Saturday.

For many, that will be a first taste of the competition proper but Paine believes it is something his side will take in their stride.

He said: “Coming to a senior club allows these guys to take part in competitions like these.

“Horley are a step up from us but we’ve had some tough friendlies and matched most teams, so we’ll look to do the same.

“They play a step higher than us but that’s why we’ve had friendlies against higher opposition.

“We’ve done a good job in all of those but this one will have a competitive edge, which will provide us with another test and step.”

In: Hayden Hunter, Jared Gilbertson, Jared Rance, Jack Barnes, Matt Hardman, Tom Lyne, Jacob Parazo, Josh Parazo, Jamie Witten, Tom Lyne, Tyrell Brown (all Worthing under-21), Dom Taylor (Chichester City), Lukas Franzen-Jones (Burgess Hill under-21).

Retained players: Isaiah Amoo, Jacob Atterbury, Jacob Bassett, Louis Coulson, Ryan Hallett, Kris Harding, Dan Huet, Richard John, Lee Mottershead, Ben Purkis, Scott Vine, Matt Smith.

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