Eastbourne Hockey Club are swiftly making plans for improvement as they live to fight another season in the Southern Premier Division One.
The three-way relegation play-off in the league above Eastbourne went in their favour, meaning they did not join Banbury in going down to Southern Premier Division Two.
The result delights manager David Adelston, who feels that despite a tough season for his team, they deserved to have another go in the higher tier.
“Some results this season have shown that we can compete at this level.
“There were a lot of mitigating circumstances last season, such as injury and suspensions. We lost some of our key players early on in the season, which didn’t help us psychologically either.
“I’m glad we get another chance to show that we can do well in this league.
“A good start is crucial but we have to believe that we can do better next year, whatever happens.”
Eastbourne finished second from bottom in the league in what was their first year at that higher level. They enjoyed only five wins during the campaign but also managed two draws against a Spencer side that ended the season in third place.
Adelston believes the key to more success next season is the introduction of new faces to the club.
“There are lots of things to do over the summer in terms of consolidating and consulting. One thing we need to do is attract more players to the club as there is a lack of competition for places at the moment, which can lead to complacency at this level.
“Now that we’re a more established Premier One side, hopefully that will help bring players in. The team are also more confident now as they know what to expect.
“A big plus we can take from the season is our discipline, which improved greatly as we got a lot stronger.”
Adelston was quick to praise captain Rob Cornell and trainer Tony Hayes for the work they’ve done this season but added that the club are looking to bring in a qualified coach to also help the team develop ready for the next campaign.
One bit of news that slightly tarnishes Eastbourne’s celebrations is that Robbie Redhead has retired after a series of injury problems.
Redhead as been a key player for the club and helped guide Eastbourne to their highest level of hockey in the Southern Premier Division one.