Bognor boss Pearce answers million dollar question: Will you be manager next season?

Jack Pearce receives his Sussex Senior Cup winner's medal / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Jack Pearce receives his Sussex Senior Cup winner's medal / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Jack Pearce says he doesn't know if he will be Rocks manager next season - but says he will be 'guided by the players'.

He was asked about the club's plans for next season after Bognor ended the season by lifting the Sussex Senior Cup.

An early goal by Jimmy Wild and an extra-time strike by Doug Tuck earned the Rocks a 2-1 Senior Cup final win over Burgess Hill in front of hundreds of jubilant Bognor fans at Brighton’s Amex Stadium on Tuesday. It’s the first time they’ve won it since 1987.

Pearce maintained that it was only the club’s crippling injury list that prevented them having more league success this season. “I’ve watched the play-offs and with a normal amount of injuries, we could have been in them,” he said.

He was also asked whether he’d be manager next season. Some fans have been wanting a change of manager after two tough seasons.

He replied: “I don’t know at the moment. I seriously don’t know. All I can tell you is that Robbie Blake will be here. I’ll decide what I’m going to do in the next couple of weeks after I’ve spoken to players and seen what they want.

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“The most important people in a football club are the players. The fans can’t cheer anything if the players aren’t there and you’d look a bit silly as a manager shouting if there’s nobody on the field of play. You’d look a bit silly as a fan on the terraces with no-one to watch.

“The most important thing is the players and I will be guided by the players. I thought the players we assembled last summer were very good. But two years on the trot we’ve had a lot of injuries and I need a bit more luck with injuries. That’s an unknown quantity.

“There are six or seven we are desperate to keep and we’ll make efforts for that, and once I’ve done that over the next ten days, I’ll reassess where we are.”

Pearce was reminded it was 1980 when he first won the county cup as Bognor manager. “Was it that long ago?” he said. “It’s a long time. I’m very pleased for the players and supporters because it has been a disappointing season.

"For the fans that came today and the loyal fans that have been coming for years and years and years I’m really pleased they have something to celebrate. Some of our home form has been very disappointing and football clubs live on their home form.

“But I thought the curse had struck, even in extra-time. We had Chad Field injured, Jimmy Muitt could hardly move and another player was struggling. And you think ‘good God’ is it going to be all over again? Poor Chad, that’s another serious injury.

“To forget the injuries for the moment it’s great to win a cup, it gives people something to celebrate and you hold it for 12 months.

“I remember when it stayed on top of my telly for five solid years! My mum used to clean it and I used to bring it back to the final - and then they’d give it back to me. It was wonderful.

“It’s nice to see it again, it’s nice to win it, I’m pleased for the players. I know they’ve taken a bit of criticism but they’ve worked very hard.

“And I’m pleased for Robbie, who’s been a real stalwart, and for Neil, Holly and all the staff who have done ever so well. I’m pleased for everyone associated with the club.”