Sussex League clubs have been keeping their heads above water

The scene at Pagham FC in early January  Picture by Roger Smith
The scene at Pagham FC in early January Picture by Roger Smith

OUR local football clubs are praying the worst of the wet winter is over.

For the first time since December, a virtually-full programe of county league matches was able to go ahead last Saturday.

Club officials are hoping that trend continues from now on to enable them to get their season finished on time.

Chichester City chairman and joint manager Sean Forry believes it is the players who have suffered most in the wet spell.

He said: “Financially in the short term it may have a small effect but it won’t hurt us particularly in the long term. The biggest effect really is on the pitch because its been hard to keep the morale of the players up.

“We were doing well up until the bad weather. It’s been difficult to keep the players going because most of the time we’d be training knowing that the game would be cancelled at the weekend. It definitely has deflated us a bit.”

Selsey b have also managed to keep afloat during the flooding and chairman David Lee believes his club are still in a strong position.

“Obviously it does have an effect but we’ve been quite lucky,” said Lee.

“We have an active social club and they’ve put on other activities such as darts, billiards and we have Sky Sports, so we are still getting regular numbers.”

Clubs were disappointed to hear the FA put off a decision on whether the Sussex League can extend the season beyond the end of April.

Forry believed the FA ‘could have helped us a bit’ but both City and Selsey felt they could still fulfil their fixture lists.

Lee said: “All our fixtures have been rescheduled and we’ve got enough time to play them, so I’d say we are still on course.

“We’ve been really lucky compared to somewhere like Arundel who have really struggled with their pitch. We’ve just been looking forward to getting back on the pitch.”

JAMES ROBINSON