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Striker Khassal to leave City

Chichester City striker Cherelle Khassal has left the club as the Oaklands Park outfit turn their attention on rebuilding under new manager Sadie Blakely.


Chi defied all expectations last season soaring to a third place finish in the National Southern Premier as well as lifting the Sussex county cup.


But the departure of manager Aaron Smith has meant that the club has entered the summer looking to rebuild.


A statement issued earlier this month confirmed former keeper Blakely would be taking charge and the emphasis would be placed on bringing young players through the age groups.


That emphasis is expected to lead to an exodus of senior players – with Khassal the first to confirm she will be playing her football elsewhere next season.


The Republic of Ireland international, who has racked up more than 50 appearances on the wing and up front for Chi, was integral to the club lifting the tier four title in 2017/18.


But injuries last term left the 28-year-old frustrated and Khassal has now drawn a line under her three-year stint at Oaklands Park.


Confirming her departure on social media, Khassal said: “Putting on that green and white jersey, I would always give 100 per cent as this club means a lot to me.


“I have had an amazing time with Chi but this year has been a low point for me with injuries at the start and injuries at the end which has resulted in a bad end to the season for me.


“A massive thank you to everyone for what you have done for me as a player. My time at Chi has now come to an end and I’m very much looking forward to my next chapter.


“I want to wish Sadie and her management the best of luck this season and future seasons, I’m sure you will do a fantastic job.”


Blakely, along with her assistant Laura Galway, will be wasting no time in building a squad for next season as Chi look to keep their status in the third tier of the women’s game.


With Khassal now gone, the pressure will be on to tie down a series of key players, including top scorer Molly Clark.


Skipper Lauren Cheshire and experienced centre half Tammy Waine will also be high on the retained list – although both have been linked elsewhere.


A club statement said: “We are, as a committee excited about the future of the club and bringing football to girls and ladies in the local area and progressing our club behind the scenes ready for when we can make the next steps forward.”

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