Bognor snap up former Pompey striker Smith - and Muitt is staying

Dan Smith in Bognor action v Kingstonian last season / Picture by Tommy McMillan
Dan Smith in Bognor action v Kingstonian last season / Picture by Tommy McMillan

Striker Dan Smith is to sign for the Rocks.

The club have pulled off a major coup by getting the young forward to join them following his release by Pompey.

Smith spent a successful loan spell at Nyewood Lane last season, scoring 12 Bostik premier goals before his parent club Pompey moved him on to Cork City.

When Pompey let him go, most thought he would go to a National League or National South club – but Bognor have convinced him a season with them, when he will be coached by former Premier League hotshot Robbie Blake, can boost his career.

Rocks manager Jack Pearce said: “We have agreed terms with Dan and we are delighted. He did ever so well for us last season.”

Hours after the announcement came more good news - last season’s top scorer Jimmy Muitt is also staying. He has signed - adding to a strong looking squad taking shape for the new campaign. Smith and Muitt give the Rocks an impressive forward to drive the push for honours.

Bognor lost Smith and Muitt - to Cork and injury respectively - around the same time towards the end of last season and it hampered their hopes of a play-off severely. Having both back on board and firing will be a big boost to their hopes of making a sustained promotion bid next time.

The Rocks squad is growing fast and skipper Harvey Whyte and defender Keaton Wood are others who have agreed to stay.

Forward Stuart Green is another set to come on board, while in the past week, Doug Tuck and Ashton Leigh have put pen to paper.

Green, a fans’ favourite in his previous spell at the Lane, is to rejoin Bognor after spells with Winchester, Salisbury and AFC Totton.

News of his likely return has gone down well with fans, also heartened by midfield man Tuck and left-back Leigh committing.

Long-serving midfielder Tuck, who notched up his 300th appearance last season, came on as sub to score the winner as Bognor lifted the Sussex Senior Cup with a 2-1 victory over Burgess Hill at the Amex.

Utility man James Crane has already switched back to the Rocks from Worthing and Leigh has made the permanent move from Wessex League premier division side Baffins Milton.

Midfielders Freddie Read and Lloyd Rowlatt, right-back Josh McCormack and attacking midfielder Emmett Dunn are among youngsters who will be in the squad.

Meanwhile local firm Gardx Protection won the sponsors’ draw but are allowing the club to auction the chance to be shirt sponsor. Read more on the sponsors online, and in next week’s paper.