JAMIE HOWELL says fans have been sympathetic about the Rocks’ 14th-place league finish – but he does not intend to keep ending up in mid-table.
A poor start and end to the Ryman premier campaign meant Bognor’s excellent form between October and March was not enough for them to break into the play-offs.
Howell said considering the injuries the squad had suffered throughout the season, and the fact they didn;t have a big group of senior players to cover such crises, 14th place was not a bad final place.
Their final-day 1-0 defeat at home to Margate meant they finished 13 points off the play-offs – and 15 ahead of the side set to be relegated in 21st place.
But he said: “Although I’m pleased with what we’ve done over the season as a whole, I certainly don’t want to do that every year.
“Fans have been very good about the outcome –they’ve been saying well done, that’s as much as we could have hoped for after a slow start.
I want us to be perceived as one of the better teams in the league – I’m not happy coming 14th.Jamie Howell
“But I want us to be perceived as one of the better teams in the league – I’m not happy coming 14th.”
With a stronger promotion challenge in mind for next season, Howell has already been working to shape a stronger squad.
Utility man Harvey Whyte, defender James Crane and midfielder Doug Tuck have all signed for 2015-16, while midfield man Jake Thomson and full-back Daryl Wollers have also indicated they are happy to commit to the club for another year.
The future of one or two of the present squad remains up in the air and Howell said further efforts would be made in the coming days and weeks to secure other key men.
The club are keen to add new faces to the squad too but Howell said would take longer, and asked fans to be patient while waiting for signings.
Bognor are still holding out hope of attracting talisman striker Jason Prior back to Nyewood Lane next season. His 13 goals in 28 appearancs on an extended loan from Margate made a huge difference to the season.
Only Ollie Pearce, with 17, scored more goals, and the next highest scorers after Prior were Stuart Green and Alex Parsons with seven each.
End-of-season awards will be handed out at the players’ presentation night and it would seem there are several in the frame for the prizes.
Keep up to date with all the close-season news from Nyewood Lane on this website