There’s a mouthwatering local derby in the offing for our U18s next season, after the Isthmian League unveiled their 2021/22 allocations earlier today.

It has been five years since the Hornets last met their former landlords, Horsham YMCA, in a competitive fixture but old rivalries will be renewed next season with the two teams named among ten Sussex-based clubs to comprise the South Division.

YM take the place of Shoreham in an otherwise unchanged line-up from last season’s frustrating campaign that saw Mark Hawthorne’s side play just three matches before Covid took a grip on proceedings.

Worthing, Bognor Regis, and Three Bridges provide further local interest while Burgess Hill, Eastbourne Borough, Hastings United, Lewes, and Whitehawk complete an attractive-looking set of fixtures for the young Hornets who are effectively starting from scratch once more, having been reformed last summer after a five year absence.

Although no date has been announced for the start of the new season, Hawthorne’s squad has already begun its preparations with a series of friendly fixtures in the past couple of weeks, the latest of which saw them overturn a 4-1 deficit to draw 4-4 with Three Bridges in a pulsating match at The Camping World Community Stadium on Tuesday night.

You can see images of that match, and hopefully our first team stars of the future, here, courtesy of John Lines.

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