Rocks Review: Beck needs time off - but we hope he’ll return

The Rocks are confident Dan Beck will return to the squad after a break from football – and will not join Lewes.

The midfielder, who played a key role in last season’s promotion run, has told the Nyewood Lane management he is not available to them for the forseeable future, but he apparently has no plans for a second spell at the Dripping Pan.

Rumours among fans suggested that was on the cards after the Rocks said last week he wouldn’t feature for a while, but joint boss Jamie Howell said last season’s captain needed time off from the game to concentrate on work and other issues.

His unavailability comes as concern continues over the Rocks’ strength in depth ahead of the new Ryman premier campaign, with another two targets having gone to other clubs.

Defender Aaron Raccine has signed for Conference side Forest Green and midfielder Billy Crook has joined the Rocks’ Ryman premier rivals Met Police.

Howell said: “Becky’s got a lot going on and something had to give. We will miss him terribly. He had a fantastic time last season and it was all going well.

“We hope by helping him and giving him a bit of time and space, it will benefit us through seeing him back in the longer-term. He’s been a good servant to the club.”

The Rocks play their final friendly at home to Worthing this evening (Friday) still feeling their first-choice XI is strong but they lack numbers beyond that.

Their latest run-outs resulted in a 1-1 draw with Leatherhead and a 4-2 defeat at Godalming. Senior players are shaping up well, but there is a lack of experience among the rest of the squad.

Kane Wills should return from injury against the Rebels although Ashley Robinson is set to miss out with a cartilage problem.

Ben Andrews is away with work duties, leaving the Rocks short at the back.

Ex-Whyteleafe striker Omar Foulkes remains a strong contender to become a Rock after impressing at Godalming.

Howell said: “We’re probably a week or two behind where we need to be with the league starting a week on Saturday. We know the areas we’re short in but can’t seem to bring in the sort of player we need.”

Fellow joint boss Darin Killpartrick said: “The lack of strength in depth is nothing we’re not used to. We know we can’t 16 experienced players. It’s about getting by with a strong core and some youngsters. But we have one or two on the radar who may come in.

“Worthing will be a good test. It’ll be a game both sides will be desperate to win.”