Styles, Purcell stay, but Stefan moves on

PUBLISHED: 09:04 07 June 2014 | UPDATED: 09:04 07 June 2014

Hornchurch captain Elliot Styles (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch captain Elliot Styles (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Mixed news for Hornchurch

Hornchurch skipper Elliot Styles signed on the dotted line for an eighth season this week, with striker George Purcell agreeing terms to remain at Bridge Avenue also.

and although he’s not had much personal joy with the promotion play-offs in the past, captain Styles hopes the Urchins go one better next term.

Styles followed Martin Tuohy in re-signing for 2014/15 as Hornchurch win automatic promotion from the Ryman Premier and all being well he could pass the 400 appearance landmark during the campaign.

But first and foremost the skipper felt delighted to be asked back to have another shot at the title by boss Jimmy McFarlane.

“It was nice to get that call from the gaffer to ask for a chat about next season,” said Styles. “We are excited for next season and hopefully we can go one better and secure automatic promotion.

“I’ve never taken it for granted that I’d be back year after year – I have to earn my shirt like anyone else but it is nice to get it sorted early.”

Styles missed the play-off final defeat to Lowestoft Town at the end of last season due to injury, and it was a tough experience for the skipper.

To add to his woe he missed out in the 2011-12 play-off final win against the Trawlerboys – that time through suspension.

But he certainly hopes there will not have to be a third time lucky for him and the Urchins next season. He said: “Injuries are out of your control, suspensions are frustrating.

“At the end of the day you just have to get on with it. Hopefully it won’t come to a play-off next season.”

Urchins will have to do without striker Stefan Payne though, after he moved to Conference Premier new boys Dover this week.

But although Styles admits losing a striker of Payne’s quality is a blow, he hopes Purcell – who netted 34 goals in all competitions last season – can form a potentially lethal partnership with Tuohy.

“Strikers always grab more attention because of what they can bring, but you can’t hold a player back from a higher level,” he said.

“George was fantastic last year and he beat his targets. You know what he’s capable of and if he and Martin are partners up front then we’ll get goals.”

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