Bognor Regis Town coach Robbie Blake revealed his squad returned for their first pre-season training sessions with ‘a point to prove’ as the Rocks look to improve on 2018/19’s 14th-placed finish in the Bostik Premier.
A torrid second-half of the season saw Bognor record one win in 12 league games as the Rocks’ play-off aspirations faded.
Bognor returned for pre-season training last Saturday and, with this wretched run still fresh in the mind, Blake stressed that everyone was ‘champing at the bit’ after last season.
He said: “There seemed to be a little bit more of an appetite at training. Everybody was disappointed with how we finished the season and where we finished.
“As a group of players and a club we have got a point to prove. The lads are now champing at the bit to put that right.
“We had suspensions, injuries and loanees getting taken away, which is part and parcel of the game. We understood that but where we finished was not acceptable.”
The Rocks’ first training session saw manager Jack Pearce and Blake run the rule over a number of trialists.
Blake admitted that Bognor had been impressed by ‘four or five’ new faces as the Nyewood Lane-outfit look to strengthen their squad.
He added: “We had quite a good response for the trial day. We’ve managed to pick four or five players that we thought would be beneficial to have a look at, so we’re going to have another look at them.
“The lads involved in the session have shown a great application in training, which has been really positive. We can’t wait to get started against Havant next week.”
Blake and Bognor Regis Town kick-off their pre-season friendly schedule at home to National League South side Havant & Waterlooville on Tuesday (7.45pm k.o.).
The Rocks coach couldn’t wait to see the team pitting their wits against a team from ‘a better level’ but felt Bognor’s ‘shape work’ would take time to develop.
He continued: “There’s no better feeling than playing games. We’ll be testing ourselves against a side who are playing at a better level than us so it’ll be interesting to see how the lads fair.
“But with the certain amount of players that we have we won’t be able to do as much shape work on the team until we’ve got a steady squad.
“We’ve got trialists coming in, so it’s always going to be a bit cagey at the start, but I’m sure once we get towards our final pre-season game we’ll have a picture of how we want to play.”