Pagham raring to go - but Pearce moves on

Daren Pearce is returning to Littlehampton  Picture by Roger Smith
Daren Pearce is returning to Littlehampton Picture by Roger Smith

Pagham FC will begin pre-season training on Tuesday, July 1 at 7pm at Avisford Park.

There is a open invitation to any player interested in joining the club for the coming season to come along and speak to manager Gary Block and his team.

Friendlies start on Saturday, July 19 at Nyetimber Lane, with a home double header against Hadley United of the Spartan South Midland League. The first kicks off at 1pm with the second at 3pm.

On Tuesday 22, Wick and Barnham visit for a 7.45pm kick-off. Saturday 26 sees Southern Counties East League side Lordswood arrive for another double header (1pm and 3pm).

On Tuesday 29, the Lions travel to Sidlesham for a 7.30 clash.

They round off pre-season when Calor League division-one central side North Greenford visit (1pm and 3pm).

The schedule should give new manager Block a chance to assess his players before the season starts on Saturday, August 9.

Pagham have appointed Dan Cox as head of youth development to oversee the progression of the under-18s through to the first team.

With training having already started, he is looking forward to the coming season with a talented group of players. It is Cox’s second spell at the club – he ran the under-18s successfully for a number of years before moving to the Rocks.

Friday, July 18 sees the club hold their sponsors’ night, to which firms are invited to go into the draw to be the main sponsor for the coming season and have your company’s name on the club shirts.

There are also draws for the matchday sponsors and the cup competitions. The draw starts at 7.30pm.

Details from chairman Tony Shea on 07889 862970 or Clive Elderfield on 07926 865227.

Meanwhile, Pagham stalwart Daren Pearce has returned to Littlehampton Town as a player-coach.

The versatile player finished last season helping out with management duties at Pagham but the Nyetimber Lane club made Gary Block their new boss in the summer.

That led to Pearce calling Golds boss Mark Bennett as he liked what Littlehampton had achieved with a young squad over the last couple of seasons.

Golds won county league division two two years ago before they finished third in division one last season – and Bennett called Pearce’s return ‘brilliant’ for the club.

He said: “Daren will join us in a player-coach role. He gave me a ring after what happened at Pagham to see if we had anything for him.

“He quite liked what we are doing here and Richie Hellen (assistant) and I know our limitations, so Daren will come in and do some coaching, which is brilliant for us.

“We’ve said all along that we’re a young side but you can’t keep saying it as an excuse. Daren will come in and be the older head that we need.”