Former Brighton & Hove Albion midfielder Dean Cox says that his time with Eastbourne Borough in the Vanarama National League south has been one which he’s embraced so far.
Cox spent six years with the Seagulls, before leaving for Leyton Orient and also plying his trade at Crawley Town more recently, before making the move to The Sports over the summer, and he spoke positively about the experience to date.
He said, “It’s been a bit of a change, you don’t train every day like I’ve always been used to but it’s one I’ve taken on.
“I’ve enjoyed my time with the club so far and we’re not far off the play-off places. The main thing for me is to be back playing again and getting the enjoyment and the buzz back, because there’s nothing worse than sitting on the bench or in the stands.
“It was all about playing again and I’m getting minutes – I’ve scored a few goals and I’m enjoying being part of the team again."
In recent times the sport has seen a trend of individuals rise to prominence and into England’s top divisions having gone through both the Football League and the non-league pyramid.
Cox highlighted the quality that he’s witnessed since he joined the sixth-tier side along the south coast.
“There’s a lot of quality of that level and a lot of good sides – I’ve been quite surprised since I started.
“People might think about non-league and think it’s all about long ball, but there are lots of teams that like to pass and move the ball about well and want to play the right way.
“There are always players that you come against and you think that they could definitely go on and have a career in the game – but there are a lot of factors involved.
“It’s sometimes about being in the right place at the right time, and you need someone who’s prepared to give you the opportunity – you have to playing well every week and once you get the opportunity you have to take it and sustain it.
“I’ll be surprised if there aren’t a couple of players who I’ve seen at this level who don’t go on to have careers in the Football League.”
Eastbourne host Torquay United this afternoon in the Vanarama National south at Priory Lane, kick-off 3pm and the former Albion man looked aheadto the contest with excitement.
“It’s a big game this weekend, they have a good manager in Gary Johnson who’s been around the divisions and is very experienced.
“I think if they win, they leapfrog us, so it’s a big game and we want to win to go back into the top seven.
“We’re at home as well so we want to make that count – we have big cup game in the fourth qualifying round of the Emirates FA Cup against Slough Town the week after, so we want some momentum for that.
“That would be great for the football club financially, and it would help sustain the team and take it forward.”
Today is Non-League Day and The Sports have a deal for all Premier and Football League season ticket holders - produce your season ticket at the Priory Lane turnstiles and receive access to the game for £5.00.
For more local non-league fixtures this afternoon click here.