Southwick handed relegation reprieve

Southwick Football Club will battle it out in the Southern Combination League Division 1 next season - despite finishing bottom of the table last term.

Southwick have been handed a relegation reprieve. Picture by Steve Robards
Southwick have been handed a relegation reprieve. Picture by Steve Robards

Wickers faced an anxious wait to see if they would drop down a division but the constitution of the top two SCFL divisions - revealed on Friday - handed them a relegation reprieve.

Now they’ve avoided relegation to step 7, Southwick will be hopeful brighter times are ahead this season.

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Former Mile Oak boss Ben Shoulders was named player-manager Justin Gregory’s replacement earlier this month.

Shoulders, who spent two seasons in charge at Oak, guided them to respectable fourth and sixth-placed finishes in the SCFL Division 1. Over the same period, Wickers have struggled for stability and success but new boss Shoulders is looking to bring the good times back to Old Barn Way.

He said: “I’m really excited for the new challenge.

“It was a big gamble whether the club would stay in the league or not but we got a bit of good luck. I’m really looking forward to pushing on this season.

"My aim at Mile Oak was always promotion and that will be the same now I’m at Southwick.”

Shoulders has already raided his former club, bringing in four players from Mile Oak.

Influential midfielder Joseph Benn, versatile Enzo Benn, Liam Austin-Slade and frontman Jamie McKenzie have all followed their ex-manager to Southwick.

But Shoulders revealed his recruitment ahead of the upcoming campaign is not finished there, with plenty more signings expected in the coming weeks.

He added: “It’s really good that the lads have come with me and there are plenty more signings in the pipeline. With a few of the team here from last season staying on, I really think we can challenge this season.”