Bognor boss Jack Pearce admits there is “added spice” as Rocks prepare for the Sussex Charity Shield clash with neighbours Chichester City.
With a fortnight to go until the Isthmian Premier season gets underway, the Nyewood Lane side look to be in good shape.
Pre-season preparations continued in this week with a 1-1 draw at Wessex Premier side Horndean, with young midfielder George Bingham getting the Rocks goal.
On Tuesday, things will step up a pace when the Sussex Senior Cup winners take on SCFL Premier champions in the county’s annual curtain raiser, in aid of NSPCC.
With plenty of connections between the two sides – not least former Rocks coach Darin Killpartrick now involved with City – Pearce said he expected a good contest at Lancing’s Culver Road (7.30pm).
Speaking ahead of the match to the Sussex FA, he said: “There is personal pride in this game with them being our neighbours.
“They did ever so well last season and they are managed by our ex-player [Miles Rutherford]and also our ex-coach of 20 years [Dabba] so there’s added spice there.
“There will be rivalry with the sets of fans and as a manager you want to be competitive and win every game but ultimately it is about player game time and raising lots of money.”
Once Tuesday is out the way, Rocks will round off their pre-season friendlies with a trip to Southern Premier side Gosport Borough on Friday (7.45pm).
Pearce partly eased his defensive worries with the loan signing of 18-year-old Joe Dandy from League One Portsmouth.
The centre back briefly appeared for the Rocks during a loan spell in October, 2018.
Now the club have moved to again add him to their ranks.
On the squad, Pearce believed the club was in good shape, with additions such as James Crane and Stu Green giving Bognor experience across the pitch.
The manager said: “We are pretty relaxed in terms of how our squad is looking, we are always looking to add quality and it is a concern to me that two centre-backs are injured and I’ve not identified a first team goalkeeper this season.
“It could be that we recruit from within the squad and I have people who step up to the plate and we might not need anyone.”