ROCKS’ fans are not used to new faces in the dugout at Nyewood Lane.
When Sami El-Abd accepted the post as manager at Bognor he became only the sixth person in 40 years to take on the mantle.
At 29, El-Abd, pictured right with assistant Darin Kilpartrick, is one of the youngest to have taken on the challenge. But anyone who has seen the centre half in action since he joined in May 2015 will know that Sami will give everything to the cause.
El-Abd’s journey started in Brighton, where he was born into a sporting mad family of an Egyptian father and British mother.
Growing up with two older brothers, he was always likely to be competitive, particularly when both end up as professional sportsmen.
Joe is a rugby player in France while Adam is an Egyptian international footballer who played for Brighton & Hove Albion and is now at Shrewsbury. Sami followed his brother Adam’s footsteps and joined Brighton and Hove Albion’s academy.
Sami stayed with the Seagulls until he was 16 before being released. After playing for Crawley Town and a spell with Hayes & Yeading, he settled at Whitehawk. In 2015 he joined Bognor, where he has become a fan favourite.