Rocks eye Pompey financial boost

Tom Craddock, left is congratulated by Ashley Harris and Ricky Holmes for his goal against the Rocks last summer
Tom Craddock, left is congratulated by Ashley Harris and Ricky Holmes for his goal against the Rocks last summer

Jamie Howell is relishing the return of neighbours Pompey for another money-spinning encounter.

Last season 1,850 supporters turned up at Nyewood Lane for a pre-season friendly with then-manager Guy Whittingham’s side on a glorious summer’s day.

Unsurprisingly, the visitors ran out 4-2 winners but it was a highly-encouraging display from the Rocks.

Andy Awford is maintaining that new-found pre-season tradition by bringing the Blues to Bognor tomorrow (1pm).

And for Rocks boss Howell it represents another prized fixture which offers a massive financial boost to the Ryman League premier division side.

He said: ‘It is brilliant to again have this fixture and very good of Pompey to come to play us.

‘I have known Andy Awford for a long while, he is down to earth and knows how much it means to a club like ours.

‘It’s a great test to our players, but also at our level having 2,000 people come to watch a game is superb and sets us up financially

‘Football is a multi-million pound industry and it is great for the big clubs like Pompey to help some of the smaller – and we appreciate that.

‘The pitch is always good at Bognor, we play a certain way, which is attractive on the eye, and I felt we produced some nice football against Pompey last season.

‘We lost 4-2 and the right team won, but it was a great day, no doubt enjoyed by everyone, and we’ll be looking for more of the same tomorrow.’

Meanwhile, Howell is hoping the Rocks’ relationship with the Blues can see more Pompey loanees arriving during the season.

He added: ‘Nick Awford came in last season and broke his toe after four or five games when he was getting into the swing of things, which was a shame.

‘For us, it is tremendous having that relationship with Pompey as sometimes you need players at short notice.

‘I am sure we will again look into loaning players from them should they decide they have young lads who need to try a bit of men’s football.’

Bognor (from): Winterton, Hinshelwood, Sackman, Medway, Crane, Tuck, Oatway, White, Wheeler, Pearce, Johnson, Thomson, Parsons, Woolers, Horsburgh, Strong, Van Driel, Moray, Hayes