One striker commits to Rocks - another is close to leaving

Jimmy Muitt is staying with the Rocks / Picture by Kate Shemilt
Jimmy Muitt is staying with the Rocks / Picture by Kate Shemilt

Jimmy Muitt is staying with the Rocks - but Ollie Pearce is nearing an exit from Nyewood Lane.

Muitt is set for a third season with Bognor after agreeing terms for the 2018-19 season - a move that has delighted club bosses and will also please fans.

Boss Jack Pearce had always been hopeful the striker would stay but even so will be relieved to get the deal done and said: "Jimmy has bags of ability and we both know there is much more to come from him. He is still developing and will only get better.

"It's always good to have the players who you want to keep agree to do so. Signing Jimmy shows we have taken yet another step in shaping the squad for the new season. There are more signings afoot, both new players and those who will be retained.

"After the disappointment of relegation, to have a player of Jimmy's calibre re-commit to the cause is very encouraging. We're hopeful of an exciting season ahead."

But Muitt looks unlikely to partner Ollie Pearce up front in the Bostik premier campaign, with his departure likely to be sealed in the next week or so.

It is understood Worthing are among clubs who have shown an interest in signing Pearce, who has been at Bognor since he was a teenager.

Because he is under 24, Pearce's move will mean a fee for Bognor - which will be settled by a tribunal if his new club don't agree with the Rocks' asking price.

Muitt joins Calvin Davies, Harvey Whyte, Chad Field, Corey Heath, Doug Tuck, Dan Beck, Tommy Block and Tommy Scutt in agreeing to play for the Rocks in the new season, and they have also signed left-sided utility player Harvey Sparks from Worthing.

A decent number of unattached players have indicated to the Rocks they want to attend pre-season training when it begins on Monday, July 2 - including a striker with National League experience.

One player whose future remains uncertain is keeper Dan Lincoln, believed to be keeping his options open for the new season.

Meanwhile, Rocks players hope to travel well next season... their new shirt sponsors are Woods Travel.

Rocks will have Woods on their home shirts, while Sussex Cruise Club will be on away tops.

Manager Pearce said: "We're absolutely delighted to have Woods Travel as our shirt sponsors for the forthcoming season. It's great to have the association with such a prominent and well-established company which has its roots very firmly in the town. We know Woods' clients travel well, let's hope we can do the same when we go away from home next season too.

"We are also indebted to The Fox at Patching, who actually won the shirt sponsorship in our annual draw. But the pub is a bit out of our area and they were happy to strike a deal with Woods Travel. It will be an honour to bear their name."

Roger Elsmere, owner and founder of Woods Travel, said he was hoping to catch the Rocks in action this season and that he was proud to have the company's name emblazoned on the team's shirts, adding: "As a Bognor-based company it's quite fitting that we team up with the town's football club for this sponsorship deal.

"We're approaching our 50th anniversary of being in business so there is going to be lots to celebrate coming up. I hope we can be celebrating alongside the Rocks; we'll all be cheering them on to what will hopefully be a successful season."