Bognor fans worried at the time it is taking the club to appooint a new manager have been told: It’s in hand.
It’s six weeks since Jamie Howell quit Nyewood Lane to take up the Eastboure Borough job, and the start of pre-season training is now just a fortnight away.
Many had expected a new manager to be in place by now but the club’s general manager Jack Pearce insisted the search for the new man was making progress.
It comes amid worries defender Sami El-Abd, one of the few from last season yet to commit to another season at Bognor, will be snapped up by Worthing.
Pearce said: “We’re still talking to people. We want to make sure we give ourselves as much chance as we can to get the right person.
“We don’t change managers very often so when we do, we want to be careful about it.
“I know it’s frustrating for fans and for the press but I’m on the case. I hope we will have someone in place by the end of next week.”
Pearce said he had held ‘in-depth’ meetings with three contenders and had spoken to another three or four on the phone. He still had more to talk to.
He said those he had spoken to in detail had all given very impressive reasons for why they should get the job, but it was an important decision and not one to be rushed.
The likes of coach Darin Killpartrick, secretary Simon Cook and other key people at the club will have a say before the final decision is made.
Names who have been in the frame have included David Wright, Stuart Tuck, Shaun Wilkinson, Mick Catlin, Steve King, Michael Birmingham, Miles Rutherford and Gary Charman.
Meanwhile there have been no further additions to the squad in the past week.
El-Abd is said to be a target for Worthing as they plot another Isthmian premier campaign, having already signed the Rocks’ top scorer from last season, midfielder James Fraser.
The Rocks have also seen midfield man Darren Budd move on, but have signed Worthing centre-half Corey Heath.
Keeper Dan Lincoln is hoping to hook up with a professional club, but Pearce said last saeason’s supporters’ player of the year was not averse to returning to Bognor if that did not happen.
Pearce said the search for players was continuing as normal and was not affected by the fact there was no new boss in place – just as pre-season training would progress under the eyes of Killpartrick and the backroom team with or without the new manager.
Pre-season training begins in the final week of June and the first friendly falls on Saturday, July 8, away to Worthing.
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