New Pagham boss Bob Paine is calling for patience as he turns to youth to rebuild the first team squad.
Lions have been perennial challengers on all fronts in recent years, chalking up top five finishes in the SCFL Premier with landing cup silverware.
But a falloff in form last season saw the club slip to a bottom half finish and led to manager Tom Simmonds and a number of first team regulars leaving for pastures new.
Its now up to former East Preston manager Bob Paine to pick up the pieces – and despite having six weeks to prepare for the new campaign, the new boss is confident his approach will deliver results.
He said: “We have came into it quite late. Normally, once the season ends, we are planning for the next one and speaking to players from May time.
“So we are behind the curve and that has made it challenging as we are playing catch up with everyone else.
“We will get there. It may require some patience but rest assured we will be working very hard to get things right.”
Paine has recruited virtually an entire new team with a number of players following him to Nyetimber Lane from EP.
Many of the squad got their first taste of match action on home turf this past week, with a 2-2 draw against Guildford City on Saturday followed by a 3-2 win over SCFL Division One side Selsey in midweek.
Lions’ final friendly is tomorrow with Combined Counties Premier side AFC Hayes visiting the Lane (3pm).
Paine said: “We have had a lot of new players coming in as players from last year and we will also be looking at other options. Everything will be challenging to start with and everyone will need to keep their nerve.
“For me, I believe in putting infrastructure in place which is sustainable rather than a short-term approach.
He added: “A lot of the boys who have featured so far have played for us at EP and before that at Worthing.
“We have built up loyalty and they enjoy the way that we work, which is positive.
“But we remain looking at other players that know around the circuit and we will see how we get on.”