Sidley United Football Club is set to begin pre-season training at its Gullivers home tomorrow (Saturday) from 11am.
The future of the Sussex County Football League Division One club was thrown into doubt when parent company Sidley Sports & Social Club ceased trading at the end of April.
But there has been a real determination on the part of certain figures to keep Sidley alive and they are preparing for the 2013/14 campaign as normal even though they are currently without a ground.
Sidley manager John Lambert said: “Without Jamie Podmore, Dickie Day and Nigel Jones, there would be no Sidley United. They’re still fighting red tape, but things are looking much more positive now.
“Those guys all deserve credit for their efforts. We’d also like to thank Hastings United and Ringmer FC for their help during a difficult few weeks for us at the club.”
Lambert has brought in one-time Gillingham youngster Ben White as part of his coaching staff, but admits he’s playing catch-up in terms of signing players ahead of the 2013/14 season.
“Ben is a fantastic addition; he’s a really good coach,” Lambert continued. “He knows the local scene well. The players know him and they know they’ll be getting decent sessions when he’s running them. The only player I know is leaving is Greg Nessling, who will move to Eastbourne Town and that’s fair play because he’ll be at a higher level.”
With no reserve or under-18 side this season, Lambert isn’t expecting a huge turnout tomorrow, but he thinks having ‘solely first team’ players training could work to the team’s advantage in the long run.
Sidley United pre-season friendlies: July 6 Saltdean United at 3G pitch in Seaford 1pm, July 13 Seaford Town at Newlands School 2pm, July 20 Rusthall (a) 3pm, July 23 Buxted (a) 7pm, July 30 Westfield (a) 7pm, August 5 Hastings United XI (a) 7.45pm. The Blues are hoping to arrange a further fixture on July 27.
As previously reported, Sidley approached Rother District Council regarding the possibility of a temporary groundshare with Bexhill United at The Polegrove.
Discussions are still ongoing, although time is moving on with the Sussex County Football League AGM scheduled for July 11 and the new season set to start on August 10. New and existing players are welcome to training.