Injuries and Crawley call hit Rocks’ Ryman build-up

Rocks boss Jamie Howell   Picture by Chris Hatton
Rocks boss Jamie Howell Picture by Chris Hatton

INJURIES and a trial at League One side Crawley for a key player have disrupted the Rocks’ build-up to the looming start of the new Ryman League season.

But manager Jamie Howell feels the pieces in his jigsaw are gradually being put in place to enable the club to launch another bid for honours.

Utility player James Crane is out for four to six weeks after suffering a hairline fracture and ligament damage to his shoulder in Monday’s 2-2 friendly draw at Worthing.

Injuries to young defender Dale Hayes, full-back Paul Hinshelwood and new forward Alex Parsons have proved less serious and all were in contention for the home friendly against Whitehawk, which the Rocks lost 2-0.

But centre-half Craig Robson – who was set to be a key man following the departure of Stuart Axten – has secured a trial at Crawley.

Howell said it was a tricky time to lose players, but he had seen many good things from different players in run-outs at Portchester, where the Rocks drew 1-1, and Worthing.

The manager was planning talks with a number of players once the Whitehawk friendly was out the way as he plots his squad plans for the season.

With Parsons and Darren Wheeler showing well up front in the friendlies, the Rocks are hopeful of fielding a strong forward line from the word go.

But Howell said: “We always seem to get hit by injuries, but it’s especially frustrating when it happens in friendlies. It’s a big blow to lose Craney.

“Craig has done well to get a trial for Crawley and we wish him well, but it does give us a problem because until we know if they will take him, we don’t know if we have another player to replace.”

Bognor are set to take ex-Pompey youngster Harry Medway on loan as he signs for Havant & Waterlooville.

Howell said: “We probably need two or three more and would like to get them in soon.”