It’s a case of ‘Cheers Budd’ for the Rocks

Darren Budd, in green, in action for Burgess Hill / Picture by Steve Robards
Darren Budd, in green, in action for Burgess Hill / Picture by Steve Robards

Darren Budd is coming back to the Rocks.

The midfielder spent several seasons at Nyewood Lane earlier in his career and is to return after spells with other clubs in Eastbourne Borough, for whom he played in the Conference premier.

He adds to a midfield pool already containing Dan Beck and Doug Tuck – and Rocks boss Jamie Howell reckons the move could have a similar impact to the return of Beck a year ago.

Budd, who is still only 31, left Burgess Hill – where he was captain – last month and has now agreed to return to Bognor.

It comes as Howell continues to make progress in building a squad for next season following the departures of Jason Prior, Craig Robson, Stuart Green and Alfie Rutherford.

Howell said: “I played with him at Bognor many moons ago and he is a very good midfield player, and he was popular with the Bognor fans.

He’s very comfortable on the ball and the fact he played in the top tier of non-league football with Eastbourne Borough speaks for itself.

Jamie Howell

“He’s very comfortable on the ball and the fact he played in the top tier of non-league football with Eastbourne Borough speaks for itself.

“We want people who want to play for Bognor and Darren is just the type of player we need. I only spoke to him on the off-chance of doing something and it has worked out.

“You don’t know how it will work when a player returns to a former club but we brought Becky back last year and that couldn’t have gone better. Hopefully this move will go the same way.”

Budd will be competing with Beck and Tuck for midfield selection and Howell still hopes to add another player in that area.

His search for a striker continues and he said he was making progress although could not yet reveal any names.

Also committing to the Rocks for next season is utility man Gary Charman, who made most of his appearances last season in midfield but could feature more in central defence next term following Robson’s move to Dagenham and Redbridge.

Howell said: “We’d certainly consider Gary a possible at centre-half. He’s played a lot of his career there and will be great to have around the place again next season. He’s popular in the dressing room and having been a manager at Horsham he can be a leader on the pitch.”

The Rocks still don’t know if keeper Grant Smith will return for the new season but hope to have news soon, while they have already revealed the likes of James Crane, Harvey Whyte and Sami El-Abd have said they will be back for the club’s latest attempt at Ryman premier and cup glory.

The players return for pre-season training on Friday, July 21, with the first friendly – at Chichester City – pencilled in for July 18.

STEVE BONE

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