Pagham are purring - but boss wants more

Pagham boss Kerry Hardwell is happy with the Lions’ start to the season – but wants them to keep striving for improvement when football restarts.

Pagham celebrate a goal v Steyning earlier in the campaign / Picture: Roger Smith
Pagham celebrate a goal v Steyning earlier in the campaign / Picture: Roger Smith

The men from Nyetimber Lane, who struggled at the wrong end of the SCFL premier table this time last year, are eighth in the standings during the enforced break.

Hardwell said: “I’m pleased with how our season has gone so far. There’s already been highs and lows and we’re only really a quarter of a way through it.

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“We are eighth at the moment which is a vast improvement from last season.

“And in hindsight, we would look at draws with Saltdean and Loxwood and the away defeat to Hassocks and think we could have found ourselves in the top four.

“Our FA Cup run was okay, beating Fleet Town at home then losing to AFC Stoneham in the next round in a game where we really didn’t get going.

“Our away FA Vase win against Cowes was superb and our performance losing to Hadley in the Vase was also good.

“Performance-wise our best team display of the season was probably our first

SCFL game of the season away at Langney Wanderers, winning 6-1. Some of the football and goals on display that day were superb.

“We’ve played a lot of games so far this season but I’m glad we got together a big and good squad for the season.

“I think I’ve been able to name the same 11 only once so far this season which is a credit to the squad we have this year– every player is very valuable.”

Hardwell is disappointed the new enforced break has come now.

“It’s not ideal having four weeks off but we have given all the lads workout plans to do to keep up their level of fitness during this time off.”

When the Lions return, Hardwell and his staff will reiterate their desire to finish as high up the premier table as they can. “I don’t set targets for the boys – we as a management group take each week as it comes but I’ll be looking to finish as high as possible with the squad we have got this season.

“I’m very hopeful we can get back playing in December.

“Players, management and fans all need sport back in their lives, whether that’s watching Pagham or Bognor or another team. People enjoy it so I hope it is back in December.”

A friendly at home to Worthing has been pencilled in for December 5 for the Lions' first bit of post-lockdown action.