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Worthing manager fixes sights firmly on the future

Adam Hinshelwood says Worthing are starting to focus on next season – with hopes of saving the current campaign over.

The Mackerel Men found out last night that the 2020-21 season for non-league steps three and below was being ‘curtailed’ – with no more fixtures being played.

That had seemed the likely outcome since the Isthmian League, Southern League and Northern League’s boards said in January it was their preferred option.

This week’s government ‘roadmap’ out of lockdown will have done little to change opinions as it states that no football can resume before March 29 and fans – essential to clubs at Worthing’s level (step three) – are not allowed back in grounds before May.

Hinshelwood was philosophical about the imminent return of sport and what it meant for the club.

“What the government said on Monday was quite positive – it gave us dates for football to restart and for fans to come back.

“But really we’re planning for next season when we hope we will be able to start on time and everything will be back to normal.

“It seems a long way off but everyone just can’t wait to get on with a proper season.”

For the men from Woodside Road, of course, two unfinished seasons have been especially frustrating.

Worthing were top of the Isthmian premier when the 2019-20 campaign ended with only ten or so games left – and were at the summit again when the current season came to a halt at the end of October.

The club are among many across the country who have campaigned for results from both seasons to be combined to work out who deserves promotion.

Hinshelwood said: “We’ve made changes at Woodside Road with the new pitch, new floodlights and other facilities and we just want to get back and let the fans see everything and watch us play. It’s mad but there are players we’ve signed in the past year who haven’t experienced playing for us at home yet.”

Hinshelwood said if the league was not to resume, he’d support the idea of a late-season cup competition to give players and fans something to look forward to.