Pitch problems can galvanise the group - Elphick

Gary Elphick is remaining upbeat despite Worthing Football Club's pitch problems.

Gary Elphick. Picture by Stephen Goodger
Gary Elphick. Picture by Stephen Goodger

News broke on Tuesday that Worthing’s 3G surface at Woodside Road has failed three FIFA quality test certifications, meaning Elphick’s men will play their opening five Bostik League Premier Division matches this season away from home.

Worthing manager Elphick admits it is far from ideal preparation on the dawn of a new campaign but hopes his team can turn the situation into a positive.

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He said: “Having to play our first five games away from home is not what we wanted but we’ve just got to get on with things.

“George (Dowell; Worthing chairman) has been brilliant, informing me nothing will change in terms of budget along with other areas.

“After what he’s done for this club, it’s such a shame this has happened.

“I feel it’s mine and the players’ duty now to make sure we carry out both George’s and Calvin’s (Buckland; Worthing general manager) vision for this club. They were a major part in me coming here and I want to be a success for them.

"If he (George Dowell) can keep showing me, players and fans the support he is after everything that’s happened, then it is up to us to repay him.

“That’s the message I’ll be relaying to the group, I want to do this for him and Worthing Football Club.”

Worthing’s first week of Bostik League Premier Division now sees them travel to Metropolitan Police, Leatherhead and Lowestoft Town over the space of eight days.

Elphick’s team start the season at Met Police on Saturday, before going to Leatherhead four days later (7.45pm).

With Worthing’s boss Elphick hoping playing on better surfaces can work in their favour.

He added: “Both Met Police and Leatherhead have had major overhauls in the summer and look strong. They will provide us tough tests to start the season.

“I think our pitch was detrimental to our game towards the back end of last season, then in pre-season.

“Hopefully being on the road, on better pitches will suit us early on in this season.”

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