Horsham FC manager Dominic Di Paola: Our new signings can get us firing next season

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Dominic Di Paola has waxed lyrical over Horsham FC’s six summer signings - and revealed the club could have a ‘couple more’ incomings in the pipeline.

​The Hornets have been busy in the close season, bringing in Lewes duo Ola Ogunwamide and Jake Elliott, Canvey midfielder Joe Paxman, Ramsgate forward Joe Turner, and making Isaac Philpot and Reece Myles-Meekum’s deals permanent.

Di Paola said: “We’ve made some good signings. Jake Elliott is someone I’ve wanted for years and I’ve missed out on a couple of times.

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“Ola, I loved him when he was at Hornchurch. He’s just a direct, straight runner who can get at people and I think that’s something we lacked last year. We were a little bit one-dimensional in our attacking play.

“Joe Turner, I just love the way he plays and what he’s brought to the group already. I just think he’s a really solid, technically gifted footballer.”

Former dual registered pair Philpot and Myles-Meekums have also joined the Hornets permanently.

Philpot, who joined Horsham from Dorking Wanderers in January, made 18 appearances last season, while Myles-Meekums, who signed from Worthing in September, appeared 40 times and netted three goals - including the opener against Hastings in the Sussex Senior Cup final.

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Di Paola said: “Meeky [Myles-Meekums] was probably our best player in the last six-to-eight weeks of last season. He really got himself going, and hopefully with a pre-season under his belt we can see the best version of him.

Reece Myles-Meekums is one of six players who have joined Horsham FC this summer. Picture by Natalie Mayhew, ButterflyFootballReece Myles-Meekums is one of six players who have joined Horsham FC this summer. Picture by Natalie Mayhew, ButterflyFootball
Reece Myles-Meekums is one of six players who have joined Horsham FC this summer. Picture by Natalie Mayhew, ButterflyFootball

“I think he found it really hard leaving Worthing. He’d been there quite some time and I think he loved it down there.

“I think he probably didn’t want to leave, and that can be quite a mental challenge for a player if you’ve left somewhere you really want to be - but obviously Horsham’s the best place in the world!

“He was massive in the final, massive in the play-offs, he was our best player.

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“Isaac is a massive bonus for us. We thought he’d agreed to stay at Dorking but the circumstances changed with who they brought in. They brought in a couple of very, very good defenders and I think he saw himself as a little too far down the pecking order.

Isaac Philpot has joined Horsham FC permanently from Dorking Wanderers. Picture by John LinesIsaac Philpot has joined Horsham FC permanently from Dorking Wanderers. Picture by John Lines
Isaac Philpot has joined Horsham FC permanently from Dorking Wanderers. Picture by John Lines

“It’s nice with Meeky and Isaac because they know what we’re about, they know the group, they know what I need them to do.

“They’re not new as such. Meeky has been with us since October, I think it was, and Isaac was here a couple of months. They’ve not really felt like new signings, but they’re really good signings.”

Di Paola admitted the Hornets were ‘pretty much there’ in terms of recruitment - but teased two potential signings.

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He added: “We’ve got maybe a couple more to come in - but we’re pretty much there.

“The boys that we’ve got coming in have been training with us, so I don’t foresee too much more going on.”

Horsham kicked off pre-season with a 5-1 win at Haywards Heath on Tuesday evening. ​Saturday sees the Hornets entertain National League outfit Woking.

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