DON’T PANIC, don’t panic – that’s the message coming from Nyewood Lane as the side look to re-build for the future.
Bognor have been without a manager since Jamie Howell departed the hot seat just a few days after guiding the team into National League South in that memorable play-off win over Dulwich Hamlet in May.
But, despite the club still being without 11 first team players on the books and no manager in the dugout, club officials have urged fans not to be concerned.
With the players looking to return to training in just over a week’s time, general manager Jack Pearce was clear that there would be a manager in place by the time pre-season preparations begin at the start of July. Pearce told the Post: “There’s been absolutely no movement about the manager but I hope to make a decision early next week. I’ve been impressed with the quality of candidates.
“The majority do not have a lot of number one experience but that would always be the case with us as we have always been about giving managers a start.”
Pearce was also clear that there was also no news on whether goalkeeper Dan Lincoln, pictured left, or centre half Sami El-Abd had committed to the club for next season.
Both were standout performers for the Rocks last term, with their fine form being recognised this week when both were named in the Ryman Premier team of the year.
With top-scorer and fellow team of the year nominee James Fraser already leaving for Worthing for personal reasons, losing either would be a blow to Bognor as they prepare for life in a higher league.
Pearce said: “I’m not too worried about the lack of progress. Due to our geographical location and not producing too many home- grown players of our own, our team always comes together quite late on so I’m not concerned at all.”
Of more concern, though, is the loss of revenue from the cancelled Portsmouth friendly which has left a large hole in the Bognor books.
Pearce said he had no option but to pull the plug after officials at Pompey contacted him to say that they could not guarantee a first team would travel to Nyewood Lane.
Pearce said: “It’s a massive blow to us. They do not realise the impact they have had on us and most probably they do not care.
“We’re not being big-time Charlies but I don’t think it’s fair for supporters to turn up thinking it’s the first team and then it’s a youth side with a few young professionals.
“It has made a considerable hole in our budget but we just have to get on with it. We may have to get the begging bowl out at some stage. It’s not the way to run the club but what can we do?”