Carter seeing steady improvement at Deans

Horndean manager Dave Carter
Horndean manager Dave Carter
Ollie Pearce scored for Bognor in their match today. Picture: Tommy McMillan

Bognor get first win in six months

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Manager Dave Carter believes Horndean have come a long way in the past four years as they aim for a top-12 Wessex League premier division finish.

Wins against Alton Town at Five Heads Park tonight (7.45pm) and at Hayling United in their final game of the season at the weekend could see them achieve that.

‘When I took over at Christmas in 2009, the side was bottom of the Wessex premier with just four points,’ said Carter.

‘The club was almost derelict and could even have gone out of business.

‘Even though we finished the season on 24 points, we were still relegated.

‘It was a big blow but after two seasons in division one we bounced back.

‘Last season we finished 17th and we will better that this time around. So year on year we have been showing an improvement.

‘We have also proved to be a good cup side, winning the Portsmouth Senior Cup twice, and this season we have had good runs in the FA Cup and FA Vase.’

Improvements have also been made off the pitch with the clubhouse revamped, while during the summer further work will be done on the tea hut and dressing rooms.

For a little village club, Carter insists the Deans do well to compete with the bigger teams based in and around Portsmouth.

One of the biggest problems is the lack of a youth set up but the club are starting to develop this area.

‘Our local youth team, Horndean Hawks, don’t want to know,’ said Carter.

‘We are looking to establish our own set up so we can bring more youngsters through.

‘The morale and spirit at the club is one of our major strengths and we believe it is a good place to enjoy playing football.

‘I want to try and keep the bulk of the present squad for next season and maybe bring in one or two new faces.

‘If we can do that I am convinced we can become a force to be reckoned with in this league.’