Worthing FC don't intend being in bottom half of National League South

Worthing FC bosses say they feel ready for the challenges of the National League South – and don’t want to be in the bottom half of the table.

They’ll take their place at step two of the non-league pyramid for the first time next season after winning the Isthmian premier title.

Everyone at the club knows it is a big step up but chairman Barry Hunter said it was one they felt ready to take and were excited about.

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Manager Adam Hinshelwood is set to get an increased playing budget to boost his squad – and the club are saying an eventual rise even beyond National South isn’t impossible.

Worthing celebrate the title / Picture: Marcus Hoare

Hunter praised everyone who played their part in realising the dream of escaping from the Isthmian.

“We’ll be sitting down with Adam and looking at everything for next season but we won’t want to be in the bottom half of the league,” Hunter said. “We want to compete and why not? We have belief and we’re not setting any ceilings. There’s no reason to.”

Hunter said an average league attendance of 1,333 this season showed huge potential.

“The supporters have been fantastic in backing us but the numbers don’t surprise me. Look at the size of the town – we’re getting about one per cent of the population.

Worthing players show off the fruits of their labours / Picture: Marcus Hoare

“We’ve shown people will come to support a winning team in a ground with good facilities. That average figure would already put us in the top three or four in National South for crowd sizes.”

Hunter said further work was needed at the Crucial Environmental Stadium to prepare it for big National South crowds and away followings, but he said the fact the club had ‘caught up’ with work that had been needed over the past three years meant it was all do-able.

Hunter said Worthing had one of the top ten budgets in the Isthmian premier but didn’t have one of the top three. He spoke highly of the consistency and resilience Hinshelwood and his staff built in the squad over what, because of Covid, was effectively a three-season promotion bid.

“I’m absolutely delighted with the outcome to the season and was always confident,” Hunter said. “Now we’re relishing the next step.”