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Rocks aiming for new play-off push as manager hunt goes on

Rocks’ chiefs claim the club can push on experience another playoff rollercoaster in the coming year.


Bognor fans will remember the win over Dulwich Hamlet last month for years to come after the victory lifted the club back into the National League South.


With the new division changing its play-off format, officials at Nyewood Lane believe that the club are pushing to get themselves in the end-of-season shake-up yet again.


That’s despite the usual restrictions in terms of budget and location, which hamper the Rocks year after year.


There is also added complications because the club still has few than 11 players on the books with less than a month to go until pre-season and are yet to appoint a manager to replace Jamie Howell.


But general manager Jack Pearce told the Post he was confident the club could perform well and be competitive at a higher level.


He said: “We will be competitive and we will try to do as well as we can. We are not going in to National League South to simply consolidate.”


The new format – backed by 18 of 24 National League clubs at the AGM – will mean 7th place will be good enough to join the post-season party. Come the end of the season, 4th will play 7th and


5th play 6th over one-leg before the winners take on the teams that finished 2nd and 3rd.


Those that come out on top of the mini tournament will then be promoted to the fifth tier of English football.


Pearce pointed to the change as a reason to lift Rocks’ hopes going into the new season.


He said: “With the change of the situation for promotion where it’s the top seven not the top five in the playoffs, a third of the entire league will be up there competing come the end of the season. It’s our aim to get in the top third. That’s the way it will be.


“We’ll be doing what we always do and that’s trying to find hunger for success based on formula of young players with a little bit of expertise.”


There was no more news out of Nyewood this week in terms of adding to the squad of nine.


Both goalkeeper Dan Lincoln and defender Sami El-Abd are still yet to confirm if they will remain at the club for the next season.


Most of the focus, though, has been on the search for Howell’s replacement, with interviews for the manager taking place over the past week.


Pearce said there were about eight candidates for the role and he was clear on the type of person that he wanted.


He said: “We want to be very successful in the south but it’s a very difficult job for anyone that wants to manage the club.


“There’s not the density of population to find people who live nearby.”

Posted in Sport.