Saunders: star names have taken a pay cut to be with Peacehaven this season

Shaun Saunders has revealed that all the top names to have joined Peacehaven this summer have taken a pay cut to be at the club.

The Tye boss said players such as Josh Jones, Charlie Walker and Craig Richards were “here for football reasons rather than financial gain.”

Walker and Jones joined from last season’s Ryman Premier champions Whitehawk, while Richards joined along with teammate Tony Di Bernado from Crawley Down Gatwick.

Meanwhile, Lloyd Cotton has arrived from Burgess Hill – and Saunders revealed this week that highly-rated Trevor McCreadie had signed from Horsham.

The Tye outfit had their first pre-season training session on Tuesday night as the Magpies prepare for their first ever season in the Ryman League after winning the Sussex League in May.

The Peacehaven boss said: “We’re getting a side now that I feel will be able to compete.

“We don’t want to go into it just to make the numbers up. We want to go in and be able to compete in it.

“I have added some quality and am talking to another couple. There could be another two or three (arriving).

“We’ve gone for experience, gone for players who are used to playing at that level.

“Too many clubs have gone that route of throwing players who are not experienced at this level.”

Saunders added: “We’ve had a small uplift in budget but the club is nowhere near competing with other budgets elsewhere in the league.

“We’re working with more or less the same budget, within our means.

“Everybody who has come has had to take a cut in money. I’m pleased they have made the jump.

“People are here for football reasons rather than financial gain.”

As impressive the new signings are, Saunders admitted he was disappointed to lose any of the players who helped Peacehaven win the county league championship last season.

No fewer than nine of the side that won the Sussex title have since left the Magpies.

Rob O’Toole has joined brother Bryan at Shoreham, while three more Tye players – in Carl Dunk and goalkeeping pair Owen Fisher and Josh Heyburn – have also moved to the The Musselmen.

Meanwhile, Craig Hall and Matt Hill both decided to take a break from playing next term due to work commitments, while Kevin Keehan left for personal reasons and Aaron Gunn is struggling with a groin injury. Craig Bunch has also left.

Saunders said none of them was shown the door by the club,

“We wanted everyone to stay,” he said. “Everyone who won the league for us last season we wanted to keep.

“It was disappointing to see them go.

“We sat down had a chat with all the players and said everyone had a right to play at this level. They all had their own reasons to go.

“And when we lost five players we brought five in. We never showed the door to anybody.”

Tom Lawley of Worthing is another Ryman League level player rumoured to be a club target.