Former Eastbourne United manager Dave Shearing has returned to the local football scene as manager of Langney Wanderers as they celebrate earning a place in the Sussex County Football League.
The club have enjoyed a meteoric rise through the Mid Sussex Football League, winning the previous four division titles on their way to the top.
Now, in preparation for a debut season in the Sussex Country League Division Three, they have recruited Shearing at the helm to help achieve success on a higher scale.
Shearing is a well-known name around these parts having managed Eastbourne United, Hailsham Town and spending time as Director of Football at Eastbourne Town.
Now, he prepares for his latest challenge and one that is admittedly his most exciting yet.
He said, “Langney Wanderers is the place to be. It’s a big step for the club but we have a really, really good team.
“Of course, it’s a bit of a test but the confidence is here and it’s really exciting.”
Momentum and confidence obviously had a part to play in their successive promotions but another key factor is ambition - something everyone involved with the club has in abundance.
When asked how they think they’d fair in a much more competitive regional division, Shearing exclaimed, “The Chairman wants to win it!”
The lofty heights of County League status are a far cry from where the club started out, rebuilding the foundations of a football club on the ashes of Shinewater FC.
With plenty of hard graft and even more dedication, the team at Langney Wanderers - headed by Tracey and Steve Saunders - have created a club fit to play at the higher level.
In April of this year, with the club flying high at the peak of the Mid Sussex Premier, they were told they must fit County ground regulations if they’re to make the step up, regardless of whether they win the division or not.
This involved fitting a handrail around the pitch, showers in the away dressing room, a toilet and a bell.
With requirements swiftly put in place, it was decided the club matched standards off the field with those on it and were invited to move to the County League - a level they’ve been aiming for ever since starting off at the overgrown site in Shinewater.
The club prides itself on fielding local players and enjoying a community spirit so rarely found in competitive football these days. And now, with an experienced and well-liked manager in the hot-seat, the sky certainly is the limit for Langney Wanderers FC.