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Rocks face a nervous wait for the FA’s step three shake-up

Bognor REGIS Town FC face an anxious wait to see which league they will be playing in next season.

 

Following this season’s relegation from the National South, the Rocks will be re-allocated into step three of the Football League pyramid. But quite who they will be playing next season has yet to be decided.

 

As part of a revamp of the level below the National League, the FA agreed in January to expand step three to four divisions.

 

An announcement on the allocation will be made today (Friday) which will see Bognor placed in the Bostik Premier, alongside clubs from the south east; or the Southern League, which has sides from the south west.

 

The decision by officials in Wembley could have a big impact on the Rocks’ future, with manager Jack Pearce, pictured left, admitting some players may not re-sign because of the extra travelling.

 

Speaking to the Post, Pearce said: “I’m just going to wait and see. We want to be in the Bostik as there’s no doubt that the Southern could have an impact on us.

 

“That will be a smaller league. It’s not up in the Midlands as some seem to think as there’s a new league in the Midlands but there will be a few games in the West Country.

 

“If we do have a few games that way [the West Country], it could have an impact on the Brighton-based players.”

 

Pearce made the comments as rebuilding work for next season begins.

 

Retention letters to about 12 of last year’s squad have been sent out. But Pearce does not expect any individuals to make a decision until there is more clarity on which league the Rocks will play in.

 

Two players he hopes will stay on are right back Calvin Davies and midfielder Doug Tuck, who shared the player’s player of the year award at the club’s presentation evening.

 

Pearce was full of praise for both.

 

He said: “What’s interesting is that one of the things levied against us this season was the lack of physicality, which I do not disagree with. So it is interesting that the two shortest players on the team got the top award.

 

“Calvin has that wonderful attitude to the game and his body language is very infectious.

 

“He tries really hard and wears his heart on his sleeve, which is a great thing.

 

“It means that you find it hard to say he’s had a bad game as even when his passing is not spot on or his defending is slipping, you can never take that attitude away from him.”

 

“As for Doug, when you look at how slight he is and you see these big players around him you think that he will get blown away.

 

“But he always shows tremendous ball manipulation, in that ball manipulation he is by far the best in the league. His passing range is excellent.”

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