Horsham FC's end of season award winners commit for another campaign

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Horsham FC have announced that the club’s 2023-24 end of season award winners, James Hammond and Charlie Hester-Cook, have both penned new deals committing them to the club for another campaign.

The midfield duo were integral in the Hornets’ successes last year with their performances earning them the men's team accolades.

Hammond was awarded the Player's Player and Manager's Player of the Season awards, while Hester-Cook scooped the Supporters' Player of the Season award.

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Since joining from Dorking Wanderers in 2021, initially on loan, Hester-Cool has gone from strength to strength, making 119 Hornets appearances and scoring 29 goals despite numerous injury-enforced breaks.

Midfield pair James Hammond (left) and Charlie Hester-Cook (right) have committed to Horsham FC. Picture by Natalie Mayhew, ButterflyFootballMidfield pair James Hammond (left) and Charlie Hester-Cook (right) have committed to Horsham FC. Picture by Natalie Mayhew, ButterflyFootball
Midfield pair James Hammond (left) and Charlie Hester-Cook (right) have committed to Horsham FC. Picture by Natalie Mayhew, ButterflyFootball

Horsham manager Dominic Di Paola said: “Charlie's a talisman for us and, when on song, there's not many better.

“Cooky has shown some real loyalty to the club, turning down some serious offers to go elsewhere, but we are delighted he is staying.

“Our challenge is to keep him fit and on the pitch as he can be unplayable."

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Likewise, Hammond has proven to be a pivotal signing, since making the move from Eastbourne Borough a year ago.

Playing in all but three of the Hornets’ 62 games last season, he quickly became renowned for his free-kick and penalty prowess, with 11 of his goals coming from set-pieces.

Scoring against Barnsley and nabbing an extra-time equaliser against Chatham Town in the play-off semi-final, Hammond's been key to many of Horsham’s most memorable moments.

Di Paola said: “He turned down some good offers from elsewhere, having had a great season for us last year, a real breakout season.

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“After a slightly slow start, he grew as the season went on, became more of a leader amongst the group, and from October onwards he was consistently good.

“He really gets what we want to do, has a good football brain on him and popped up with some great goals this season.

“Hopefully we'll see more of that next year, and obviously you can't underestimate the amount of games he played, which was a phenomenal achievement in itself.”

Though the Hornets have been bolstered by these renewals in midfield, the club said farewell to Doug Tuck, who has returned to Bognor Regis Town after a 113-game, near four-year stay at the Camping World Community Stadium.

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Di Paola said: “He's a brilliant lad and a fantastic footballer. Very unlucky last year on a number of occasions, just didn't get enough football as he would have liked.

“He had a couple of injuries, flu, and various other things also played its part, but he will be welcome back at Horsham at any stage.

“We wish him all the best and thank him for being part of a very successful three years.”

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