The Non-League Football Paper
REBELS ARE REVELLING WITH THEIR ALPHA MALE
A SEASIDE town 300 miles from his Bridlington home might not seem an obvious move for a young goalkeeper, but for Worthing stopper Harrison Male it’s one he hasn’t looked back from.
The 22-year-old joined Adam Hinshelwood’s Rebels in 2021, having spent 12 years coming through the ranks at Leeds United.
But, in search of regular game time, Male grabbed the chance at the other end of the country with both hands.
Since then he’s played a key role in last season’s Isthmian Premier title romp and helped his side into National League South play-off contention.
His form was also recognised with an England C call-up and he came off the bench in the 1-0 win over Cymru C at Altrincham.
And he says joining Worthing has been everything he hoped.
“I’m originally from Bridlington, an hourand-a-half from Leeds, so I’ve always lived in digs and moving away wasn’t an issue,” Male told The NLP.
“Obviously it’s a bit further than Leeds! But, for the opportunity and all the good stuff I heard about Worthing, it was a no-brainer.
“Playing games regularly week-in, week-out to show what you can do is important at a young age.
“Last season was a great year for everyone at Worthing. They’ve worked so hard to get where they are now, proving they not only wanted to win that league (Isthmian Premier) but be real contenders in the league above.”
They’re certainly doing that having spent the majority of the season around the top seven.
While Farnborough leapfrogged them into the final spot in midweek, they are right in the mix.
“Honestly this season has been amazing,” Male said. “We knew what the targets were at the start of the season and what we, as a group, can achieve.
“For us to implement that and be where we are in the league now is brilliant. The standards run through the club from the gaffer, Hinsh – the standards are top. Everything is done properly.”
Male was the only player from outside of Non-League’s top-flight in Paul Fairclough’s England C squad that took on their Welsh rivals.
And he loved the experience of representing his country, just as he had through various age groups growing up.
“It was a great honour to be selected with all the other boys,” Male said. “Obviously at training you see the standard of what that next level is. All the boys were brilliant, knowing I play a Step down from them, they all took me in well and I had a good time.
“The big difference is the majority are in fulltime. Their schedule is football. Me being parttime and working is a bit different. I work in a school, doing goalkeeper sessions and a football session.
“It’s different. I’d never done it until I moved down to Worthing but I enjoy working with young kids who want to do well for themselves.”