Rocks shock: El-Abd won't be player boss

Sami El-Abd remains at Nyewood Lane as a player and club captain / Picture by Tim Hale
Sami El-Abd remains at Nyewood Lane as a player and club captain / Picture by Tim Hale

Sami El-Abd will NOT be the Rocks' player-manager after all.

He has had to pull out of the arrangement because of worries over combining the role with his full-time coaching job at Brighton and Hove Albion's community department.

El-Abd will continue as a player and as club captain but has had to step down from the role of first-team manager, which he was given less than a fortnight ago.

El-Abd, who combined playing for the Rocks with his full-time coaching role within Albion in the Community, had initially intended to combine the two roles. However, following discussions between the two clubs it has been agreed that the popular defender will revert back to a playing role at Nyewood Lane.

That will be a big consolation to Rocks fans, who will be stunned at this latest development - they had feared losing him to Worthing or another club before his player-boss role was confirmed.

In his place, general manager Jack Pearce, coach Darin Killpartrick and senior player Gary Charman - who had been named as El-Abd's assistant - will run the team and see how they get on.

Pearce said: "We had hoped Sami would be able to combine the two roles, but both jobs involve a big commitment and following further discussions between all parties it is clear it would not be possible for Sami to fully commit to both roles."

El-Abd, a 29-year-old who has been with Bognor for two years, helping them win promotion from the Ryman premier last season, added: "I had hoped to be able to combine my work with Albion in the Community with the duties of first-team manager of Bognor Regis Town. We have been on a historic journey with Bognor as a player, and I intend to be part of that moving forward, and will continue to play for Bognor. I look forward to giving my full support to the new manager of the club."

STEVE BONE

See this website and the Bognor Observer for more on this story in the next few days...