Jimmy Muitt is staying with the Rocks – but Ollie Pearce is nearing an exit from Nyewood Lane. And wGary Charman has moved to one of the Rocks’ Bostik premier rivals.
As reported on bognor.co.uk on Wednesday, Muitt is set for a third season with Bognor after agreeing terms for the 2018-19 season – a move that has delighted club bosses and will also please fans.
Boss Jack Pearce said: “Jimmy has bags of ability and we both know there is much more to come from him. He is still developing and will only get better.
“It’s always good to have the players who you want to keep agree to do so. Signing Jimmy shows we have taken yet another step in shaping the squad for the new season.
“There are more signings afoot, both new players and those who will be retained.
“After the disappointment of relegation, to have a player of Jimmy’s calibre re-commit to the cause is very encouraging. We’re hopeful of an exciting season ahead.”
I think the key is that if he wants to play regularly he may need to move on but if he wants to get a bit involved in the coaching side, we may be able to help him.Jack Pearce
Muitt, who was at Brighton and Lewes before joining Bognor in the summer of 2016, has scored 20 Rocks goals in 56 starts and 19 appearances from the bench. But he looks unlikely to partner Ollie Pearce up front in the Bostik premier campaign, with his departure likely to be sealed in the next week or so.
It is understood Worthing are among clubs who have shown an interest in signing Pearce, who has been at Bognor since he was a teenager.
Because he is under 24, Pearce’s move will mean a fee for Bognor – which will be settled by a tribunal if his new club don’t agree with the Rocks’ asking price.
Manager Pearce said: “Ollie’s made it pretty clear he won’t be staying.
“One or two clubs are showing interest and it will get sorted out soon.”
Another ‘will he stay or will he go?’ saga has been over stalwart utility man Charman, but it was confirmed on Thursday night he is joining Burgess Hill, who the Rocks will face in the Bostik premier in 2018-19.
Before his exit was confirmed boss Pearce said: “We’ve made an offer to Gary. He’s a useful man to have around and has good leadership qualities.
“I think the key is that if he wants to play regularly he may need to move on but if he wants to get a bit involved in the coaching side, we may be able to help him.”
On Thursday night a Rocks statement said: “Gary Charman has left the club to sign for Burgess Hill Town. We would like to thank Zorro for his large contribution to the club over the past few seasons and wish him all the very best for the future.”
Another player whose future remains uncertain is keeper Dan Lincoln, believed to be keeping his options open for the new season.
It is thought the Rocks have been checking out the loan market for a keeper in case Lincoln does not return to the Lane.
Muitt, in deciding to stay, joins Keaton Wood, Calvin Davies, Harvey Whyte, Chad Field, Corey Heath, Doug Tuck, Dan Beck, Tommy Block and Tommy Scutt in agreeing to play for the Rocks in the new season.
The club have also signed left-sided utility player Harvey Sparks from Worthing. And a decent number of unattached players have indicated to the Rocks they want to attend pre-season training when it begins on Monday, July 2 – including a striker with National League experience.
Meanwhile, Rocks players hope to travel well next season... as their new shirt sponsors are Woods Travel.
Rocks will have Woods on their home shirts, while Sussex Cruise Club will be on away tops.
Manager Pearce said: “We’re absolutely delighted to have Woods Travel as our shirt sponsors for the forthcoming season. It’s great to have the association with such a prominent and well-established company.”