Horsham add two but say goodbye to popular striker

Horsham have bolstered their ranks this week with the acquisition of two new signings - but have bid farewell to a popular centre forward.

Much-loved centre forward Chris Smith has departed Horsham after four years at the club. Picture by Steve Robards
Much-loved centre forward Chris Smith has departed Horsham after four years at the club. Picture by Steve Robards

The Hornets have snapped up defender Leon Moore and striker Jake Embery.

Moore, who made his debut against Pagham on Tuesday night, has joined from 24-time Gibraltar Premier Division champions Lincoln Reds Imps.

The 21-year-old, who has also played for Sussex rivals Worthing, was an unused sub for Lincoln against Romanian side CFR Cluj and Slovakian outfit Slovan Bratislava in this year's UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League qualifying stages.

Embery, meanwhile, has moved to the Hornets after his release from Isthmian Premier rivals Margate last month.

The 22-year-old, who has also appeared for Leatherhead and Herne Bay, joined the Gate in the summer from National League South side Maidstone United.

On the new boys, Di Paola said: "Jake spoke to us in the summer and opted to go elsewhere. He’s got a point to prove because he’s football has sort of stuttered over the last two seasons.

"He went to Maidstone and got injured and missed a lot of football. We’ll have to see how it goes.

"We’re lacking in defenders at the moment and there has to come a point where we can’t keep on waiting for people to get themselves fit.

"We’ve got to go out and add to the squad. I talked about it a couple of weeks ago, but we can’t keep playing people out of position.

"Jack Brivio has played the last four in seven as a centre half so we have to start putting people in the right positions, because it’s going to start really killing us.

"Hopefully he’ll do well. He’s a good young player, a good athlete, and he gives us quite a lot of competition for places again."

But much-loved centre forward Chris Smith has departed The Camping World Stadium after four years at the club.

The 30-year-old joined Horsham from South Park in 2018 and bagged 44 goals in 102 appearances.

Smith was the Hornets' top goalscorer in his first two seasons at the club and helped fire Di Paola's side to promotion to the Isthmian Premier in 2018-19.

On the striker's departure, the Horsham manager said: "He’s been talking about stopping playing for two seasons now, and he’s stayed because he loves the club, the fans, and all the boys.

"But he’s been talking about it all season, almost every week. He’s mentioned that he might step away.

"He spoke to me before the FA Cup game [at Carlisle] and gave me a bit of an indication.

"I knew he would come on [against Carlisle] so it was nice to get that appearance and have that experience for us.

"He’s been a brilliant player for Horsham over the last three or four seasons."