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Club History

East Preston FC was originally formed in 1947, but unfortunately within ten years the club had folded. However it was reformed, as the present club in 1966 when it was elected to the Worthing League.

East Preston then moved on to the West Sussex League for the start of the 1968/69 season before becoming founder members of the newly formed Sussex County League Division Three in 1983/84, having won a number of honours in the seasons leading up to that.

The club won Division Three at the first attempt but were unable to take their place in senior football as the ground and facilities were not up to the required standard.

The club remained in Division Three until 1990/91 when they gained promotion once again, this time as runners up to Ifield. However this lasted just one season before being relegated back the following year. After a couple of near misses they finally achieved promotion again at the end of the 1994/95 season. In that promotion season they achieved a memorable treble, also winning the Division 3 Cup and the Sussex Intermediate Cup.

In 1997/98 promotion to Division One was achieved for the first time in the club’s history. The club acquitted itself well for two seasons, finishing fourth in 1999/00 before a season of crisis saw them relegated in 2000/01. Recovery however, was swift and East Preston were immediately promoted back to the top flight. Following a season of consolidation, 2003/04 saw East Preston once again a leading force in the top division, finishing third behind Chichester City United, and just missing out on the runners-up spot on goal difference to Rye & Iden United.

2004/05 saw somewhat mixed fortunes, with the club managing only a mid-table finish. To some extent progress was hampered by disquiet behind the scenes, culminating in December by the failure of the 1st team squad to fulfil a fixture at Eastbourne Town, and the ultimate resignation of manager Vic Short. To some extent this took the gloss off an excellent run in the FA Cup that saw the club eventually bow out at home to Billericay Town at the 3rd Qualifying Round stage (see photographs), whilst there was also no disgrace in losing at eventual winners Didcot Town in the 2nd Round of the FA Vase.

Given the previous seasons upheavals and the loss of many of the playing squad as a consequence, East Preston were widely tipped to struggle in 2005/06, and indeed eventually finished in 16th place. The following season saw an improvement as the club finished in a comfortable mid-table position that may serve as a springboard to a further revival.

After 2 good seasons under Chris White, he departed to Horsham YMCA and the club was eventually relegated to Division 2 under former reserve team manager Trevor Waller in 2009 where they failed to set the world alight, finishing mid-table 2 seasons running.

For the start of the 2011/12 season Dominic Di Paola was appointed manager, bringing with him his backroom staff of Ian Browne, Jan Miller and Adam Westwood from Worthing United where they had gained promotion from Division 2 the previous season.

The 2011/12 season proved to be a very successful one as the club ran away with the Division 2 title, securing promotion before any other senior side in the country and also claiming the league and cup double, beating local rivals Littlehampton 5-1 in the Division 2 cup final.

In 2012/13 season East Preston finished 3rd in Div 1 and in 2013/14 won the Div 1 title by 17 pts but were denied entrance into the Rymans League due to not meeting the ground grading requirements.

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