Bognor don't expect a player exodus - but hunt for new recruits is under way

Jack Pearce and skipper Harvey Whyte at the presentation night / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Jack Pearce and skipper Harvey Whyte at the presentation night / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Boss Jack Pearce does not expect a Rocks exodus as he and coach Robbie Blake plot next season’s squad.

He is starting to talk to current players and is hopeful most of those the club want to keep will be happy to stay at Nyewood Lane for the 2019-20.

The Rocks have added one to the squad so far – defender James Crane, who is returning after a season with Worthing – and Pearce is working on other new recruits.

He told the Observer: “We’re on the case now with trying to get new players.

“I think most of the players we already have who we want for next season will still be with us. I don’t expect too many to go but you will always get one or two moving on – that happens in football.

Rocks awards picture special
Pearce hands over some of his Rocks roles
“Robbie and I are already looking forward to the new season and are confident we’ll have a strong squad put together.”

Fans’ favourite Crane is back in a Rocks shirt after Pearce moved swiftly to re-sign the versatile full-back when he was released by Bostik premier neighbours Worthing.

Crane quit Nyewood Lane this time last year citing the quest for a new challenge as his reasoning for the departure and he was soon snapped up by the Rebels manager Adam Hinshelwood.

Pearce said it was an easy decision to bring back Crane, who was with the Rocks for a decade before he left.

He added: “As a club we are determined to build on last season and as much as we can, we want to get our business done early.”

Another development has seen secretary Simon Cook take on the role of general manager, a job done until now by Pearce. Cook’s step up will give Pearce more time to concentrate on playing matters.

The Rocks supporters’ club held their end-of-season player presentation night at the Seasons clubhouse on Sunday and Joe Tomlinson and Harvey Whyte were the main recipients of awards.

Pearce said: “It was very well-supported by the fans considering the frustrating season we had. All the awards were deserved and it was nice to see Joe and Harvey rewarded for excellent seasons.”