Two leave Bognor - but duo from Pompey and Brazil could help launch FA Cup run
Rocks bosses Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake are ready to thrust striker Brad Lethbridge in to the fray when Bognor host Sittingbourne in the first qualifying round of the FA Cup at Nyewood Lane tomorrow.
Lethbridge will start against the Kent outfit after playing the second half in the 2-0 reverse at home to Carshalton Athletic in the Isthmian premier division last week. And there is every chance Rocks fans will get their first glimpse of Brazilian midfielder Victor Hensel, whose international clearance has come through in time for the cup tie.
Lethbridge is on a long-term loan from Portsmouth, for whom he trained with the first team doing the summer before he tweaked a thigh muscle and suffered a setback to his pre-season conditioning. But he is back and seemingly up for the cup.
And Nye Camp No.2 Blake said: "Bradley is raring to go and he will start the game. It'll be a tough tie because Sittingbourne will look to progress and they will have seen our recent results haven't been great.
"But the cup gives us a break from the league and is the perfect chance for us to get a win under our belts and then kick on in the league. We're all looking forward to it. The FA Cup is the most prestigious domestic cup competition in the world after all."
Pearce says he hopes Hensel can bring some flair to the Rocks side but wants him to work hard too. He said: "He has shown some excellent technique during training sessions and we're hopeful Victor can work hard and bed in well once he gets his chance."
Sao Paulo-born Hensel, 21, spent two seasons with Miami Dade FC and is the club's second-ever highest scorer. He said: "I am excited to sign with the club and I am looking forward to being able to play. If that is against Sittingbourne at some point then all the better."
Meanwhile, forward Tyrrel Mitford – who scored a cracker in the 1-1 draw with Horsham earlier in the campaign -- and midfielder Emmett Dunn have both left the club, the latter is joining Chichester City. General manager Simon Cook thanked them for the service to the club. He added: “Both players have chosen to move on and we thank them for their efforts and wish them all the very best for the future.”