Pagham host Rocks as season’s preparations step up

Bognor have already visited one of their neighbours - a visit to Chi City kicked off their pre-season / Picture by Chris Hatton

Bognor have already visited one of their neighbours - a visit to Chi City kicked off their pre-season / Picture by Chris Hatton

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It’s derby time at Nyetimber Lane this evening (July 29) as Pagham and the Rocks continue their pre-season warm-up.

The neighbouring clubs have a good relationship, often swopping and loaning players, and this friendly has become a regular feature in recent years.

The home side are working their way towards an August 6 start to their season in the FA Cup, while Bognor have one more friendly to play after this - at Horsham next Thursday, August 4 - before beginning their Tyman League campaign on August 13 at home to Lowestoft.

Rocks manager Jamie Howell plans to use a starting line-up broadly similar to the one that faced Pompey when the Blues won 4-1 at Nyewood Lane on Wednesday evening.

But he will also field a couple more trialists - including winger Walter Figueira, who has played in the Greek League.

Bognor will tonight be without goalkeeper Billy Grainger and Brighton youngsters Dylan Barnett and Jason Davis - though all three are players the Rocks would like to bring in for the season.

Howell revealed Grainger was having a trial at Crystal Palace but it could be that even if he is taken on at Selhurst Park, a loan to Bognor could be agreed.

And he said the Rocks were talking to Brighton about whether they could use Barnett and Davis, who Howell said he was impressed with against Pompey.

Talking of the Fratton Park club, Howell said talks with Pompey were aimed at securing a loan or two of their academy prospects, with a return to Nyewood Lane for right-back Calvin Davies a possibility.

The full-back was a big hit at Bognor last season before an injury in the FA Trophy at Grimsby ended the spell.

Kick-off at Nyetimber Lane tonight is 7.30pm.

We’ll have a report on the game on this website over the weekend.

STEVE BONE

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