Horsham FC boss Di Paola backs Isthmian League's energy saving decision

Horsham FC manager Dominic Di Paola sees ‘no downside’ to the Isthmian League’s decision to allow early Saturday kick-offs to help clubs combat the energy crisis.

League chairman Nick Robinson wrote to all Isthmian clubs on Sunday to advise them that, in order to reduce energy costs, particularly those related to floodlights, they could bring forward Saturday kick-offs, as long as both parties agree.

Changes must be publicised to ensure that players, officials and supporters can have time to make appropriate plans.

Di Paola said: “The way the costs of everything are at the moment, there’s no downside. There’s only positives to being flexible for kick-off times.

Horsham FC manager Dominic Di Paola sees ‘no downside’ to the Isthmian League’s decision to allow early Saturday kick-offs to help clubs combat the energy crisis. Picture by Steve Robards

“I’d be all for it if we were travelling an hour somewhere. I’d be happy with a 12pm or 1pm kick-off, it wouldn’t bother me at all. But because it has to be two clubs agreeing on it, I don’t think we’ll see too many early kick-offs.

“For example, if we have to travel to Brightlingsea Regent for a 12pm kick-off we’d have to leave at 7am and we’d end up losing the whole day anyway.

“I think there’s definitely an element of ‘we’ll see how it goes’ but I think it’s good there’s some flexibility. And if it saves clubs some money, it’s all good.”

On the pitch, the Hornets have had a difficult pre-season. Horsham’s home friendly with Crawley Town on July 16 was postponed after the Reds cancelled the fixture and arranged a game at Scottish club Hearts.

The Hornets withdrew from a friendly at Dorking Wanderers last Saturday over player availability.

Horsham recorded a 2-1 home win over Winchester City in their penultimate pre-season game on Tuesday. Summer signings Daniel Ajakaiye and Jack Mazzone netted.

Horsham entertain Cray Valley PM in their final pre-season fixture this Saturday.

Di Paola added: “It’s not been the ideal preparation. But it’s not worth worrying about.

“We’ve had perfect pre-seasons and made bad starts, and we’ve had poor pre-seasons and made good starts. Until it all comes together you just don’t know.

“We’ve still got two teachers away, we’ve got two boys on honeymoon, we knew that was going to be the case, and so be it.”