Joe Shelley has been heralded as the ‘most important signing of the summer’ by Dom di Paola, after the Hornets’ captain announced he had agreed to a second season with the club today.

The former Worthing United and East Preston midfielder proved to be a big hit with Horsham fans last season, after teaming up again with his former EP boss di Paola, and was voted Player of the Year for his dominant displays that helped the club to its first championship title for two decades.

“For Joe to commit is a massive boost for the club and me personally” admitted di Paola. “He is such a wholehearted and honest player who never gives less than 100% and that is why he has had half of Sussex on his case this summer with offers coming in left, right and centre. So for him to show loyalty like he has done is fantastic as I know he will have had some tough decisions to make over the last few weeks. For me, this also highlights the attraction of our supporters and this club.

Joe is our captain and we will be a far better team with him leading us into this new league. He is a manager’s dream and we are so pleased he is staying!”

‘Biff’ was quick to dismiss recent speculation that he had elected to remain in the County League for 2016/17. “I am delighted to have signed for next season. It means so much to me to try and push this amazing club forward. Last year was brilliant and I think we can push on and be strong in the Ryman league. Last year the fans were incredible and were one of the main reasons I signed in the first place. I couldn’t imagine not playing in front of them now! I am now really looking forward to a good pre-season so I can hit the ground running when the season starts!”

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