Westfield set sights on top three spot

Westfield Football Club manager Jack Stapley
Westfield Football Club manager Jack Stapley
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Westfield's footballers are targeting a top three finish as they prepare to kick-off the new season.

The Westies will begin their 2016/17 Macron Store Southern Combination Football League Division Two campaign with a trip to Montpelier Villa this coming Saturday.

Westfield manager Jack Stapley said: "The top three has got to be our minimum aim with the side we've got. It's a big ask this league and to win it or be in the top three would be a big achievement for the club.

"I've learnt from those defeats on long away trips last season (when Westfield finished 10th) and how we need to set up. I wouldn't fear anyone from last season with the side we've put together now."

A lack of goals was probably Westfield's biggest problem in 2015/16 and they've addressed that by bringing in Callum Smith and Asher Grindle - two players who linked up well together for a Peche Hill Select side which ran away with the Macron East Sussex Football League title last term.

Other new recruits include Lewis McGuigan - a defender who has looked good in pre-season - and Jake Adams - a central midfielder who played for AFC Uckfield Town and Eastbourne United AFC last season.

Former Westfield favourites Chris Rea and Tony Harris are back at the club, while the only notable departure is goalkeeper Joe Cullip.

"We've recruited quite well and the squad's definitely a lot stronger," added Stapley. "Our fitness is much better this year, which will help.

"We've had a fairly long pre-season. I think we've had 10 pre-season games and probably eight of them have been against higher level opposition. I think we've gained a lot from playing the higher opposition."

Westfield will be without Liam Ward (suspension) and Sam Ellis (wedding) for Saturday's game.

Westfield's opening fixtures: August 13 Montpelier Villa (a), August 20 Upper Beeding (h), August 27 Cowfold (h), August 29 Rottingdean Village (a), September 3 Rustington (a), September 17 Bosham (a), September 24 Ferring (h).

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