Rocks need to get fitter as pre-season goes on

A huge crowd packed into Nyewood Lane for Pompey's visit   Picture by Chris Hatton
A huge crowd packed into Nyewood Lane for Pompey's visit Picture by Chris Hatton

DARIN KILLPARTICK watched the Rocks pit themselves against Pompey and Reading and admitted they needed to get fitter.

The head coach took charge of the team and felt they gave a good account of themselves despite losing 6-1 to a large Pompey squad to 2-0 to a Reading side who included a number of players with first-team experience.

They’ve been tough tests for a Bognor squad containing numerous new faces and youth-team players but Killpartrick can see progress.

He said: “Pompey were hungry – Andy Awford has got them in a good place, they are extremely well-organised. But we didn’t stop battling and it was a shame we couldn’t get in for half-time at 2-1 rather than 3-1.

“If that game and the Reading game, when we didn’t have many senior players out at all, showed me anything it was that we’re not fit enough at the moment.

“We need to step up our intensity. Our new boys are still learning the way we play but they’re making progress, and in Chris Winterton we’ve got the best non-league goalie in the area.”

Killpartrick revealed the club were still hunting three more players – a striker, midfielder and centre-half.

The friendlies continue to come thick and fast and everyone in the squad is likely to get game time as they visit Wessex League side AFC Portchester tomorrow evening and local rivals Worthing on Monday and host Whitehawk next Wednesday.

Rocks general manager Jack Pearce paid tribute to Pompey’s ‘enormous’ gesture of returning to Nyewood Lane, which saw more than 2,000 pack into the ground.

He said: “The difference this game makes to a club at our level – keeping us going – is enormous. We are very thankful to Andy (Awford) and the board of directors at Pompey for choosing to visit our club.

“I’m surt they get inundated with requests from teams who want to play them because of their travelling support.”