Bognor's boot camp produces a top snorer as well as a top scorer

The Bognor players are made to work at the boot camp / Picture by Wes Hallett
The Bognor players are made to work at the boot camp / Picture by Wes Hallett

Freddie Read grabbed the goal that earned Rocks a 1-1 draw with Midland League Premier Division Long Eaton United in a pre-season friendly. But it was fitness coach Neil Cockcroft who raised the roof as the Bognor players were put through their paces at a punishing military boot camp.

Popular Cockcroft offered plenty of support for the team alongside boss Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake as they ended all square with United in the game at the FA's headquarters St Georges Park last Sunday -- following a gruelling series of lung-busting tasks at the Defence School of Healthcare Training, Lichfield on Saturday.

The Bognor players are made to work at the boot camp / Picture by Wes Hallett

The Bognor players are made to work at the boot camp / Picture by Wes Hallett

But it was how Cockcroft raised the decibels at night that was the talk of the touring party -- with the self-confessed heavy sleeper managing to keep a good few wide awake with his cacophonous snoring!

Our spy in the camp revealed: "Neil's snoring was off the scale! Jack and Robbie were billeted with him and how they got to sleep we will never know. We were in a tent nearby and we could hear it too. As you would expect, Neil was unrepentant. He loves a bit of banter. When we pulled him on it he just muttered something about 'survival of the fittest'. One thing's for sure, he slept well!"

Boss Pearce refused to be drawn on Cockcroft's sleeping habits, except to say: "We had a score draw – and a snore draw. But seriously, the whole weekend was a huge success and certainly one which we will look to repeat.

"It was all about team bonding and the various tasks the lads had to get to grips with gave them plenty of chance to work as a unit and understand that team effort is everything.

The Bognor players at the boot camp / Picture by Wes Hallett

The Bognor players at the boot camp / Picture by Wes Hallett

"It was hard graft for them but ultimately a lot of fun, too -- the feedback was hugely positive and we're indebted to Neil for organising it and we're also indebted to Defence School of Healthcare Training, Lichfield for hosting us."