Onwards and upwards. That is the message from Borough manager Tommy Widdrington, as training for the new season gets under way.
And it’s doubly true. The Sports approach the new season with high hopes of a real assault on the Conference South table – while two of last season’s young stars are already moving up the Pyramid.
Charlie Gorman moves to Conference Premier Welling United, while Frankie Raymond joins Dagenham and Redbridge in Division Two, for an undisclosed fee. Both players came to Priory Lane two years ago and under Widdrington’s coaching and guidance, they have progressed beyond measure.
Far from being downbeat in bidding farewell to Charlie and Frankie, the Gaffer sees their moves as positive proof of the club’s success, and a testament to the policy of unearthing and developing young talent.
“What we have done is to provide these players with the platform to springboard themselves back up to the levels they are capable of.”
“Both lads have been a pleasure to work with and I would like to wish them both all the very best at their new clubs.
“I believe this further highlights my assurance to potential and recent new recruits, that at Eastbourne Borough we can help develop players whilst progressing as a side at the same time.”
These are not empty words from the manager. Any young player who arrives at Priory Lane these days can be sure of the best possible chance to develop. Some supporters have been surprised to see a number of ins and outs at the club during this pre-season, but football never stands still, and Widdrington is relishing the task of finalising his new squad.
The likes of Richard Pacquette and Gavin McCallum will add experience to the side – one of Tommy’s stated aims at the end of last season – and in the coming weeks they will be joined by young new recruits of the calibre of Gorman and Raymond.
The Borough manager, who during the season is often known to watch five or six games in a week, has his finger right on the pulse of the player market, and he is looking forward to making the right signings for the Sports in the coming six weeks.
“With pre-season training due to start in less than 48 hours,” said Tommy, “I’m so looking forward to getting back to the coal face, where of course I hope to unearth another couple of rough diamonds.”