Forward pair boost Robins
Bosham boss Andy Probee spoke of his delight at re-signing forwards Marco Giambelardini and Ryan Hillier as the club prepare for another assault on Southern Combination division two.
Giambelardini put pen to paper despite pre-season interest from Arundel, scoring a hat-trick for the Mullets in a friendly at AFC Petersfield.
Probee said: “I’m delighted Marco has shown his commitment to us off the back of a tremendous season. His skill and ability cause defenders problems and the management team are really happy to have him.”
Giambelardini, 26, was virtually ever-present in 2015-16 and scored 11 goals – including the Division 2 Cup final opener against league champions AFC Varndeans to help the Robins etch their name on the trophy for a fourth time.
Hillier, 23, was playing West Sussex League football for Fittleworth for large parts of last season before emerging back at his ‘home’ club and playing a pivotal role in the cup victory.
“Ryan will be a massive asset to the club this year,” Probee added. “His pace and work rate in the cup final were phenomenal - he always seems to create a lot of opportunities and I’m sure he’ll be in double figures this season.”
Elsewhere, it’s a largely retained squad from last season, though central defender Dave Bryant is taking time away from the game and Nick Edgington, the long-serving midfield man, is unlikely to feature because of increased work commitments.
Former Robins captain Bradley Miles has also made a return to Walton Lane.
The reserves are preparing for a big test as new members of the Wyvern Combination east division, having switched from the disbanded Southern Combination West. They open their campaign on August 17 at Petersfield Town (7.45pm).
In the League Cup, Danny Mullen’s side have been given a plum draw at home to Dorchester Town’s reserves.
Investment has been made in the Walton Lane pitch with a renovation over the summer to bring it back to its best, while additional external storage has also been added for the club’s new perimeter railing – all additions resulting from West Sussex County Council’s ‘Big Society’ grant success.
The club’s pre-season programme continues on Saturday as the first team travel to Hampshire League Division 1 outfit AFC Petersfield, while the reserves visit Upper Beeding’s seconds (both 3pm).
Next Tuesday, the reserves travel to US Portsmouth (7.30pm), and the firsts are at Nyetimber Pirates (7pm).
The firsts round off their pre-season at Lavant on August 16 (7pm), before their Southern Combination Division 2 campaign gets under way at Lancing United on August 20.
Training continues on Tuesday and Thursday evenings from 7pm at Warblington School 3G – new players welcome.
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