By Harvey Whyte
Hello and welcome to my first fortnightly column for the Post, which I’ll be writing for the season.
This year will be my sixth with the Rocks. I came here on loan from Havant and really enjoyed it.
After I returned to Havant, I spoke to the manager Lee Bradbury, who spoke to Jack and managed to sort out a move. I’ve been happy with how it’s all worked out.
This year it looks like I will be captain too.
It’s not something which is done officially. Unless there’s been an outstanding candidate like Robbo then usually it just goes to the person who has been there the longest.
I think the reason why I have been at the club so long is down to the people here and the way they play football.
As long as Jack is involved in the club, then Bognor will never play the long ball game.
You just have to see that with the way we played under Dabba and Jamie – they all wanted to play football and now we’re continuing.
It has been a summer of change with Robbie Blake coming in as first team coach.
I have always said that I will respect people in terms of where they have been and what they’ve achieved.
It’s difficult not to listen to someone who has played at the top levels of English football, Given his track record, you have to listen to him.
He is very laid back and a very likeable character. When you like someone, then you tend to play well for them.
His training has, to be honest, been unreal – it has been some of the best sessions I’ve ever had. It’s competitive and at a high tempo and everyone is enjoying it.
I think speaking generally things are coming together.
We have lost a few players which is always a bit worrying. But as a club we always do lose a few as Bognor is not able to match the money demands that other clubs have.
In terms of what we have brought in, they have been good. We need to get a few more in, though, and once we do that I think we will be there.
Everyone is fit, we have Chad coming back from injury and everyone is looking forward to it.
The latest two additions were Brad Lethbridge and Dan Smith on loan from Portsmouth.
I only spoke to them for the first time on Friday at Salisbury but they are doing really well. They may only be young at 17 and 19 but they don’t look like it. They are ready for men’s football which we will need at this level where many of the teams are quite physical.
I think the performance last week at Salisbury wasn’t too bad. We did struggle in the second half, though, which shows that we have a lot of things we still need to work on.
With Doug and Harvey out, it also showed that we probably need a couple of extra faces, perhaps up front and out wide.
It’s always a waiting game at this stage of the year, however, so it may not be until the start of the season before we can lure them from elsewhere.
Jack has made it clear he wants to get back up to where we were last year.
But looking around at what other teams in the league have done, it will not be that easy
In the season we did go up we had a good group of people. The team spirit was the best we have had, so if we can get back to that then I do not think we will be that far off.
For myself, I will just try and play as well as I can each week and stay out of trouble.
I have my own personal standards which I like to meet and I know when I have a bad game. As long as each week I can give my best and try and stay fit then that will be a good season.
Until next time. Harvey.