Selsey FC - History
Selsey Football Club was formed in 1903 and played at various grounds before setting up home at the High Street Ground in the late 1940s. Selsey were a formidable force in the West Sussex Football League and dominated the league in the 1950s. Their record in the West Sussex Football League before applying for promotion to the Sussex County Football League was the envy of many around. They won Division One on six occasions in 1937/38, 1954/55, 1956/57, 1957/58, 1958/59 and 1960/61, together with the Malcolm Simmonds Memorial Cup on four occasions in 1955/56, 1956/57, 1957/58 and 1958/59. They also added the Sussex County FA Intermediate Cup trophy to their haul in 1958/59.
Selsey made the step up to the Sussex County League in 1961 and made an immediate impact on Division Two when finishing runners-up to champions Shoreham in their first season. The competition was abandoned due to bad weather the following year, but Selsey gained promotion to Division One in 1963/64, ending the season as champions and were also winners of the Division Two Invitation Cup. The club remained in the top division for five years before being relegated in 1969. The highlight of their early existence in the County scene was when they appeared at the Goldstone Ground, Brighton and were narrowly beaten by Eastbourne Utd 1-0 in the Sussex Senior Cup in season 1962/63.
A return to the top flight was achieved in season 1975/76, again as champions, but within two seasons the club once again found itself back in Division Two. They then endured a further nine seasons in the lower division until they gained promotion back to Division One for the third time in 1986/87, as runners-up to Pagham. Their two chances of cup glory during that time came in 1984/85 when they were runners up in the Division Two Cup losing to local rivals Chichester City 2-1 and in 1986/87 when they were eventual winners. Once back in Division One Selsey managed to survive for four seasons, until finishing bottom in 1991 with just 12 points. They had another chance of silverware in 1989/90 but again failed in the final when they lost to Langney Sports in the John O'Hara League Cup but made amends by winning the County League five a side tournament at the Brighton Centre. The club then had a period of success when they were runners up in the Division Two Cup in 1994/95 and winners of it the following season, together with winning promotion to Division One again in 1995/96.
The club then enjoyed its longest spell in Division One, a period of eight years, and it's most successful time when manager Danny Hinshelwood took control of the club in the year 2000. Season 2001/02 saw them win the SCFA RUR Cup and the following year saw them lift the John O'Hara League Cup. In 2000/01 and 2001/02 the club finished 4th on both occasions, their highest finish to date. Problems behind the scenes at the club however, saw them start the 2003/04 amongst the favourites for relegation. The annual curtain-raiser - The Norman Wingate Trophy - did little to dispel those feelings, as Whitehawk thumped a woeful Selsey side 6-1. The remainder of the season followed suit as Selsey were duly relegated to Division Two.
Following two seasons of rebuilding and re-structuring, and with Danny Hinshelwood back in charge after a short spell away, the 2005/06 period saw Selsey back to something like their best when they gained promotion back to Division One, thus maintaining their reputation as one of the County League's yo-yo clubs. It was not surprising that Selsey's best home gate of the season (248) came against local rivals Pagham, but what was completely bizarre was the fact that the lowest attendance at the High Street Ground (88) was for the visit of Sidlesham, easily their closest neighbours with less than three miles separating the two clubs!
Back in the top division for 2006/07, Selsey comfortably maintained their position with an 8th place finish and again posted amongst the best attendances in the League, bettered only by champions Eastbourne Town and Three Bridges. They also won their way through to the SCFA RUR Cup final again in season 2007/08 but could not record their second triumph of this long established competition losing to Three Bridges. A fifteenth place finish kept them in Division One and mid table seems to be the favoured position for the club having finished no lower than seventeenth and no higher than tenth in the league since then. Another cup final appearance was to come Selsey’s way in 2011/12 when they played Rye Utd in the SCFA RUR Cup, but again could not record a win and lost 2-0. In 2011 the club made improvements to the ground in line with the FA ground grading requirements and now has a ground worthy of its County League status.
Selsey’s 2012-13 season saw some highs and lows. League wins at Hassocks and Redhill were the pick of the bunch and an emphatic 4-0 thumping of Rye Utd avenged the cup final defeat from the previous season. This was the best Selsey could do in the cups as they lost the next round to Peacehaven and saw early exits from all other cup competitions. A total of eleven league wins and twelve draws saw Selsey finish eighteenth in the league, only avoiding relegation by four points.
The following season started with great enthusiasm and optimism. Ex Brighton and Hove Albion favourite Adam Hinshelwood was in charge of the side and things looked good for the new campaign. However a far from bright start saw Selsey draw their first game and lose their next three before beating local rivals Chichester 2-1 at home in the league. Early exits were recorded in the FA Cup and FA Vase and their league form was inconsistent. This form led to Hinshelwood resigning as Manager when they lost away to 2nd Division outfit Broadbridge Heath in the SCFA RUR Cup. Ryan Pharo took over the hot-seat and stabilized the ship recording notable victories against Pagham and Hassocks. Pharo’s rein at the Club however was short-lived and he was removed from his post during March. The Club decided to take on a Youth policy and needed to promote from within. Steve Bailey was promoted to the position of Manager and with half the first team squad leaving the Club it was a difficult end to the season. In fact they lost seven of their last eight matches only winning the last game of the season at home to Lingfield 3-2. This win secured their place in Division One for another term.
To be Continued.