That’s a turnip for the books – Will’s off to join the Swedes!
Will Hoare looks to have played his last match for the Hornets, for now at least, after accepting an offer to play professionally in Scandinavia. The midfielder, who captained the club earlier this season following his summer arrival from East Grinstead, revealed the background to his move to Swedish Division One North side Skellefteå FF ahead of the new season.
“I was talking to a friend of mine at Crystal Palace, Johnny Williams, and he told me that one of his friends plays in Sweden and his agent asked if I would be interested. I spoke to Dom about it and he was kind enough to let me go so I flew out for a trial, just before Christmas, and they must have been impressed as they offered me a two year contract straight away. I’ve always wanted to get back into full-time football and at twenty-one, there’s still plenty of time for me to develop my game so I couldn’t turn it down. It’s not big money or anything like that but they will pay for my apartment and general living costs so although it was a tough decision, hopefully people will understand why I’m making this move. If hadn’t been enjoying my football this season then I wouldn’t even have blinked. It would have been great to have stayed and hopefully got promotion with the lads but if I didn’t take this opportunity it would always have been in the back of my mind.”
The city of Skellefteå is situated towards the north of the country, some 380 miles north of the capital Stockholm, and is the birthplace of author Stieg Larsson and actress Victoria Silvstedt. Its football team currently play in the third tier of Swedish football, having been relegated from the Superettan last season, and will kick-off the new campaign in Division One Södra (South).
“From what I gather,” added Will “they had quite a young side that wasn’t strong enough to stay up but they want to develop their players, help them grow and become stronger, and are looking to go straight back up again next season. Hopefully I’ll be part of a developing team because, from what I saw before Christmas, I was really impressed at the intensity and quality of their younger players. It’s obviously totally different to the style of football we play over here but I was very impressed. The season starts in April but I’ll be flying over in mid-January as that’s when their pre-season starts. Pre-season is long but we get to have a couple of weeks off in March so we can go into the season nice and fresh. Being out there early will also help me get used to the lifestyle. I’ll be sharing an apartment with Christian Scales, who’s at Palace, so that should help us both settle in. I’ve known Christian since we were sixteen years old and played in the same Palace youth side, so that will makes things easier. My family will also come over to visit every now and again and my dad will come over to watch a few games.
I had to keep things under wraps for a few weeks while I had the trial and decide what I wanted to do so I really appreciate Dom keeping it off the radar. I don’t want supporters thinking I’ve been wanting to leave because that’s definitely not the case. This is just one of those fantastic opportunities I can’t turn down.
I’ve enjoyed being at Horsham so much. The boys are so close together and all get along really well. We’ve really bonded so well despite there being so many new players and that’s made it even harder to leave. I told them all at training on Saturday and they’ve all been so supportive of me and sent me some really nice messages.
I’ve only been in non-league football for about a year and a half but this team is the most focused I’ve seen. I really hope they go on and get promotion or at least finish the season strongly to go into the new ground. I’ll definitely be keeping tabs on how they get on.”
Will will have the opportunity to say farewell to his team-mates and supporters at this afternoon’s match with Guernsey but, on behalf of everyone connected with Horsham Football Club, we wish him well on this exciting new chapter and thank him for his excellent contribution this season.