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Portsmouth and Albion lined up for Bognor’s pre-season

Bognor’s pre-season plans are already shaping up with Premier League stars of the future among those set to visit Nyewood Lane.


Jack Pearce is very much in rebuilding mode after the Rocks suffered relegation from the National South last season.


With a year in the Isthmian Premier League to come, big question marks remain over who will be on the pitch and in the dugout for Bognor.


But one thing that is certain is that Brighton & Hove Albion under-23s, who are set to play next year against the best young teams in the land, will visit on July 17 (7.45pm kick off).


The following week, on July 24, League One side Portsmouth are the visitors.


Both high-profile matches are set to bring bumper crowds, giving Pearce an extra cash boost as he looks to pull together a team for next season.


Rocks fans had some good news this week with the announcement that young defender Corey Heath has agreed terms for next season.


He joins Calvin Davies, Keaton Wood, Chad Field, Harvey Whyte and Tommy Scutt as one of six players to have re-signed for next season.


Heath, 22, endured a frustrating season after joining from Worthing last summer because of a persistent ankle injury.


But he said he was eager to resume training on July 22 to be in tip-top shape for the big kick-off in August.


Heath, pictured left, said: “Re-committing to Bognor was an easy decision for me, even though I had an offer to go elsewhere. I want to play for the club, it’s as simple as that.


“And I want to play for our fantastic fans and give it a good go next season.


“There has been a lot said about relegation, and a lot of criticism for Jack. But players have a huge responsibility, too.


“Players come and go at every club and this one is no different. I’ve been pleased with who we’ve signed already and come pre-season training I’m confident we will have a good squad, and certainly one who can flourish in the division.”


Pearce, who managed the side last season, said he had been speaking to a further four or five players this week.


The Post understands these include last year’s fans’ player of the season, Doug Tuck, and young player of the season, Tommy Block.


Pearce also revealed that Portsmouth coach and former Leeds striker Robbie Blake would replace Darin Killpartrick as first team coach.


He said: “We look forward to working alongside Robbie, who has gained valuable knowledge in a very respectable playing career and, of course, at Pompey as a coach.


“It’s always exciting to bring on board people who we believe can bring fresh ideas and new energy, and Robbie certainly fits the bill.”

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