Former Brighton winger Dean Cox is excited to be joining Worthing after turning down a new contract at fellow Sussex side, Eastbourne Borough.

The 33-year-old signed for the Rebels on Monday night after leaving Borough by mutual consent at the start of the month.

But Cox spoke about the move came about and how his former Albion teammate and Worthing boss Adam Hinshelwood (pictured) played a key role in him joining.

The Argus:

He told The Argus: “I was offered a new contract at Eastbourne but I felt that I wanted something different.

“So Hinch (Adam Hinshelwood) got in touch and we spoke, obviously we have played together before so we know each other well.

“Worthing did fantastically last season and obviously with Covid they were not able to finish their season, but they were doing well.

“The main reason for joining was Adam. He is a top coach and he was a top player as well.

“He said about coming in and using my experience to help the younger players, which was something that really appealed to me.”

Cox had spent three years at Borough prior to leaving and in that time made nearly 100 appearances.

The Argus:

But with Cox having formed a great relationship with everyone at the club, including manager Danny Bloor, he admitted that made his decision to leave even tougher.

He said: “Danny is a good friend and they (Eastbourne Borough) are a fantastic football club.

“I got on really with the board, the directors, everyone there, so, that made it even harder because of the friendship I had with Danny. First and foremost he is a great person and a great manager.

So, I am fond of everyone down there, it was difficult to leave but I have done so and I am looking forward to a new project.”

The Rebels were top of the PitchingIn Isthmian Premier in the last two seasons and on course for promotion to the National League South.

However, both of those campaigns were curtailed due to Covid.

But Cox is hoping he can help Worthing to get promoted this season.

He said: “I hope we can get promoted but every club in the division will be saying the same thing, everyone is going to want to win the league and get promoted, obviously last season got curtailed.

“So, it is all about getting that consistency again and once we get going again, hopefully we can do well.

“But a lot of teams have strengthened over the summer, so it is going to be an even tougher league this season than I believe it was last year.

“So that is the outset, we want to do as well as we can and if we could get promoted that would be fantastic for the football club.”

It is not just on the pitch that Worthing are making strides.

Off the field they have been busy laying a new pitch and installing new floodlights at The Crucial Environmental Stadium.

Prior to the pandemic, Worthing were getting crowds of over a thousand at home games.

They also handed Hinshelwood a new-three-year contract in February and Cox believes everything is in place for them to make the step up to the next level.

He said: “Everything is geared for it to go to the next level, with the stadium, a new pitch being laid, they have new floodlights, the facilities are fantastic.

“Also with Hinch signing a three-year contract, knowing Hinch he is not going to want to have any success and he will work as hard as he can to get it.

“So it is all ready and geared to go, obviously they get fantastic crowds, they get over a 1,000 a week at league games.

“But it is a fantastic club and if we could have some success, I am sure the fanbase would grow even more and the club would be able to grow even more.

“It is little steps but it is certainly geared this season to have a good campaign, but the pressure is for the players to perform, try and get up there and if we can get promoted that would top off a great season.

“But like I said with the facilities and everything it is geared to kick on.”

Worthing have a young side, but the winger is hoping he can use his experience and nous to help them see out difficult matches.

He said: “It is exciting, they are a young group with some fantastic footballers in there.

“You don’t get to the top of the league twice before they were curtailed for no reason.

“It is certainly a really good group and having some older players, more experienced players like myself, and a few others to help them and nurture them through some difficult times and difficult games will help.

“In certain games, we will be fine. However in others, we will need to have a bit of nous or man-management, a bit of experience of seeing games out and that is what I am hoping I can bring to the team.

“But it is a fantastic group of players and like I said the project is to get promoted, but it is easier said than done.

“We are working hard in pre-season and hopefully come the 14th of August, we are ready to go.”

Cox made his debut on Tuesday night, coming on in the 25th minute to replace Reece Meekums in their 6-1 win over Three Bridges in a friendly at The Crucial Environmental Stadium, where 457 fans got to see him in action.