Josh Pelling has confirmed that he will play no part in manager Dom Di Paola’s preparations for life back in the Premier Division after announcing that he has decided to leave the club. In a tweet earlier today the highly-regarded goalkeeper, who made one hundred and thirty-four appearances in three different spells with the club, said “It’s been a pleasure @HorshamFC. Thank you to everyone involved at the club for the support throughout the years. A great club and deservedly back in the premier”.

‘Pells’ enjoyed a winning start to his Hornets career, debuting on loan from Brighton & Hove Albion in a 2-0 win at Tooting & Mitcham in November 2009, before rejoining the club on a permanent basis in 2016 and winning the Supporters’ Player of the Season award the following year. He joined Dorking Wanderers for 2017/18 but returned to Horsham midway through the season and has remained at the club ever since, playing his part in the club’s promotion to the Premier Division last month.

“It’s always a shame when you get a good group together and someone leaves,” said Di Paola, “and neither party wanted Josh to go. But he struggled to get to midweek games last season, often arriving just before kick-off, and although he really wanted to stay, he realises that he would find it difficult especially with us going up. It’s a real shame that we couldn’t get it to work as he’s a top man, really well-liked by the rest of the squad, and has been brilliant for me, at Hastings as well as at Horsham. Hopefully we’ll see him back in a Horsham shirt one day but, for now, we wish him all the best for whatever the future holds.”

One plus for the manager is the decision of full-back Steve Metcalf to remain at the club. ‘Mets’ enjoyed a fine 2018/19 campaign and will be hoping his experience of Premier Division football with Worthing will help the squad on their reurn to the Isthmian League top flight after an absence of seven years. Metcalf joins Chris Smith, Rob O’Toole, Jack Brivio, Harvey Sparks, Charlie Harris, and Lee Harding of last season’s squad to agree terms.

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