FOOTBALL: Our County League team of the decade

HERE is the Herald/Gazette County League team of the decade for the noughties.

It provoked much debate in the office but we've finally gone for the following team in a 4-4-2 formation.

To be available for selection, the player had to have played for one of the 13 County League teams that we cover and have played the majority of the time locally in the last 10 years.

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But have we got it right? What do you think? Have we missed someone out who should have been in the team? Have we included someone you don't think should be in the team?

Let us know what your team would be and e-mail it through to us at [email protected]

But, remember, every player in the team has to have played for one of the following teams '” Arundel, Clymping, East Preston, Lancing, Littlehampton, Mile Oak, Rustington, Shoreham, Southwick, Steyning Town, Storrington, Wick and Worthing United.

Goalkeeper: ANDY McCARTHY (Arundel, East Preston, Wick, Rustington, Littlehampton)

Tall keeper who was in outstanding form when Rustington enjoyed the best spell in their history. His best moment, arguably, was the epic Division 3 Cup final in 2006 when Blues won 12-11 on penalties. He saved three spot-kicks and Rustington went on to win every game that year and received national coverage on Sky Sports. He also saved three penalties in Blues' 3-1 shoot-out win over Horsham YMCA Reserves in the Vernon-Wentworth Cup final in 2007.

Also represented the Sussex county team.

Now back playing at Rustington.

Right back: CHRIS PAINE (Mile Oak)

Oak's very own David Beckham. Set-piece specialist and always a goalscoring threat.

In outstanding form last season when Oak returned to the top division of the County League for the first time since 1998.

Still at Oak.

Centre back: STEVE PORTER (Mile Oak)

Simply Mr Mile Oak. Been captain for several years and never seems to have a bad game.

Played his 400th game for the club last year and was also in starring form when they finished second in Division 2 last season.

Still at Oak.

Centre back: MATT HURLEY (Mile Oak, Shoreham)

Commanding centre back, who is also comfortable with the ball at his feet.

Now plying his trade at Ryman League Burgess Hill, after he signed on at Conference side Eastbourne Borough in pre-season.

Was in Mussels' team when they won the John O'Hara Cup in both 2006 and 2008 and was also in outstanding form when Shoreham reached the Sussex Senior Cup semi-finals last season, losing to Eastbourne Borough only in a penalty shoot-out.

Left back: CHRIS HIBBERD (East Preston, Arundel, Shoreham, Worthing United)

Admittedly not his favoured central midfield role but there are few better players who have played at left-back in the last 10 years.

Had a spell playing at Ryman League Worthing and probably could still play at that level. Excellent engine and a sweet left foot.

Now with Worthing United, who are flying high in Division 2.

Right midfield: PHIL TURNER (Littlehampton, Wick)

Mr Versatilty but is excellent when running at full-backs. Is full of pace, always runs his heart out and will play any position for the team.

Scores his fair share of goals and has netted 49 since he came into County League football in 2005. Still at Wick.

Central midfield: MIKE HUCKETT (East Preston, Arundel)

Super engine in the middle of the park and towards the later part of the decade added goals to his undoubted talent.

Makes any team he plays for tick and is now playing in the Ryman League with Horsham YMCA after scoring 22 goals for Mullets last season.

Central midfield: SIMON CLAYTON (East Preston, Arundel, Wick, Rustington, Littlehampton)

Super passer of the ball, hard working, strong in the tackle. Any team in the county would want him in their side.

Had a couple of bad injuries, one while playing for Bognor Regis, but is now getting back to his best at Wick.

Left midfield: TERRY WITHERS (East Preston, Rustington)

A County League legend and a real gent. Dropped down the leagues to play at Rustington, when they were in the West Sussex League, but since then helped them to an outstanding seven trophies.

Nicknamed "Twister" for the way he twisted and turned his way past any full-back he came up against.

Now joint boss at Blues.

Striker: MATT HUCKETT (East Preston, Arundel)

It's hard to think of a better player who has played in the County League in the last 10 years. Outstanding talent, who makes scoring wonder goals look easy.

Always a threat and can score from anywhere. Excellent free kick taker also.

Has had a rough period with injuries in the last couple of years and there were fears he might have had to retire. But he's slowly returning to action at Mullets and they will be hoping he's soon back to his best.

Netted 182 goals in the 10 years.

Striker: DANNY CURD (Wick, Mile Oak)

Another outstanding talent with an eye for goal. Pacy, hard-working and a great finisher.

Grabbed himself 38 goals for Mile Oak last season as the club were promoted and is now at Ryman League Burgess Hill.

Struck a total of 108 goals for Wick and Oak.

On the shortlist: Stuart Hack, Jason Wimbleton, Darren Annis, Gary Norgate, Daren Pearce, Dan Jordan, Miles Scerri, Scott Murfin, Lee Barnard, Mark Burt, Ben O'Connor, Dan Griffin.


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