By Derren Howard
Eastbourne Borough captain Sergio Torres laughed off suggestions this could be his final campaign and insists he’s good for at least another two seasons.
Torres was one of Borough’s most influential figures last season and at the age of 37, he made a remarkable 46 appearances in central midfield.
“I’m very proud of that,” said Torres speaking on Thursday afternoon, ahead of their opening match at Oxford City. “There was only one cup match I missed last season with a tight hamstring. I just still love the game and I want to play on for as long as I can.
“I am 37 but I want to play until I’m 40. Sometimes after a bad result and my body is aching, my wife says, ‘why do you still do it?’
“I love the game. I enjoy the training, the matches and feeling part of a team. It’s the start of the season and I still get that buzz. I’m as excited about this season as much as I was my first.
“I haven’t really adapted or changed my style of play. I do try to read the game more but I like to play central midfield to be involved in the match, defending, tackling and attacking.”
Despite Torres’ sterling displays last season, Borough struggled at the wrong end of the table and conceded far too many goals. It’s an area the former Crawley Town and Whitehawk midfielder is eager to improve.
“We have to do better. We tried to play football at all times last season but if you get it wrong, you get smashed. We all want to play attacking football that’s good to watch but sometimes you have to be clever and know when to do it. Some of the pitches we play on are not good and it makes it hard. Also teams know we like to play from the back and they press and press. Especially the first 10 minutes, their energy is high and they press. If we get it wrong and get caught in possession, then we get punished. We were naive last season and that’s something we are all looking to improve. We all make mistakes but hopefully we can learn. Our home form has to improve. It was awful last year, really bad. I think sometimes teams come to our place and they like our pitch.
“It’s great to play on, a lovely place to play football. We need to make it harder for teams to come to Priory Lane. We lost a lot of matches that we should have won last season and that was hard to take. Many games we played well but then we would concede from a set piece or we would get caught in possession and we were punished for everything.”
Torres is convinced Borough will improve in Jamie Howell’s second season in charge and he believes his experience can help the youngsters such as academy graduate Harry Ransome (above). “I have so much time for Harry,” Torres said. “I do try to help him where I can and I try to give him what is hopefully good advice.
“Even during matches I am talking with Harry and helping him positionally, to be aware of second balls, things like that.
“He is a bright lad and he wants to learn and he has great ability. Within a couple of seasons I expect him to be playing League football.”
The Argentine feels the standard of the National South has improved once again but believes Borough have the players and team spirit to compete.
“We are a good group of honest players and the boys will always give their best for the club and for the fans. Hopefully the supporters will really get behind us this season.”