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Purcell rejects offers to remain at Urchins

PUBLISHED: 13:00 12 June 2015

George Purcell has agreed to stay with Hornchurch for a third season despite relegation to the Ryman North

George Purcell has agreed to stay with Hornchurch for a third season despite relegation to the Ryman North

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Hornchurch hotshot setting sights on securing promotion back to Ryman Premier

Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).Hornchurch manager Jimmy McFarlane (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO).

George Purcell has turned down offers from Conference South teams to remain with relegated Hornchurch because he loves playing for the Bridge Avenue club.

The forward has become a firm fans’ favourite since signing during the summer of 2013.

In his first season with Urchins his goals, alongside those of Stefan Payne, fired Jimmy McFarlane’s side to the Ryman Premier Division play-off final, but Lowestoft proved too strong and beat them 3-0.

Last year, despite 20 league goals from Purcell, Hornchurch suffered relegation to Ryman North and many expected to see the striker leave the club.

But he is happy to ply his trade in the lower level this season as he enjoys playing for Hornchurch and under boss McFarlane.

“I had a lot of offers at Conference South level,” said 27-year-old Purcell.

“But I think Hornchurch is the best place for me and the most important thing is I am happy here and I like the management, so it is a win-win situation.

“I spent four seasons at Ebbsfleet and I was at Gillingham before that, but the majority of time afterwards, where I haven’t been happy at clubs, I have left.

“Even if I had another year on my contract, I would just get them to tear it up and move on, but since I came here I’ve loved it.

“It comes down to the people here and the management. Everyone gets on and it is a nice environment to be around and that is why I have stayed.”

Now Purcell is remaining at Bridge Avenue, he is keen to fire the club back up to the Ryman Premier at the first attempt.

He will be helped by new signing David Knight, who has agreed terms to join Hornchurch after scoring 29 goals for Wingate & Finchley last season.

The strike pair are confident they can score the goals to put smiles back on the faces of Urchins supporters.

Purcell added: “Me and Knighty should form a good partnership up front together and if we can both score goals we should get promotion straight away.

“Hopefully we do, with me and Knighty scoring the goals and the team doing well. I think with the players that are staying, we should have enough to win the league.”

That is a long way away yet, with the season not even started, but keeping Purcell at Bridge Avenue is a massive coup for the club and shows why McFarlane is the right man for the job.

Purcell added: “I just feel at this moment in time, I am happy playing my football and if I am happy playing my football at Hornchurch why move?”

That will delight Urchins’ fans.

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