Rocks Reflections: Is answer to our problems right on our doorstep?

Mason Walsh tracks back for Bognor v Margate / Picture by Darren Crisp
Mason Walsh tracks back for Bognor v Margate / Picture by Darren Crisp

After an exit from the Velocity Trophy at Hythe on Tuesday, it looks like the league is our main focus – with the hope of an FA Trophy run and perhaps an Amex visit in the Sussex Senior Cup the other possibilities for the fans.

The Rocks, although still one of the form sides, haven’t quite had the rub of the green in the past two or three games that we’ve had for most of the season and the injuries to Dan Smith, Keaton Wood, Corey Heath and now Joe Dandy leave us looking very, very short of players.

What do we do about it? That is the 64 million dollar question.

I think the answer is right on our doorstep and hopefully the additions to the squad on Tuesday are an indication that might be happening.

For those unaware, a number of our excellent Chichester College players are currently featuring in the Bostik Premier League, but for other clubs.

To some that’s a head scratcher and I can see their frustration. The college’s captain, Joe Clarke, scored a winner for Worthing a few weeks back and I can’t see how that makes sense.

It’s like Chelsea loaning a youth player to Man Utd and him playing week in week out - as Clarke has been doing.

I feel it’s time to tap into this talent pool and give them the opportunity to sink or swim – as many other clubs at our level are doing. It’s surprising how many of these players are producing the goods.

As an avid fan I could think of nothing better than seeing a local lad trying his best, even if it meant a season or two settling and re-establishing ourselves at this level before pushing again.

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Don’t get me wrong – promotion this season would be amazing.

It appears some of these hopes may slowly be turning into reality.

With Jamie Carroll featuring recently and the inclusion of Harley Bain for the Velocity Trophy game I feel this move, which some may see as a gamble, may be starting to take place.

The talent pool is there – it’s just about giving them the chance to shine and having patience with them. Unfortunately in today’s modern football era fans want it NOW and patience is rarely seen, especially at the top level.

The Rocks have always prided themselves on local talent and having refereed the under-16s in a recent match against Seaford in the Sussex Youth Cup, I can say it was refreshing to see how talented that players were - with many already stepping up for the Rocks’ under-18s and appearing in the FA Youth Cup tie against Sutton United.

We have the chance to push for promotion this season and in Robbie Blake, as Keaton Wood said in an interview recently, we have a coach who has the full backing of the dressing room.

The style of play remains intense and ‘the Bognor Way’ has produced some scintillating football of late.

We have a great chance to bounce back at the first attempt but if we are looking at how to boost an injury-hit squad, the answer may be right on our doorstep.

Up the Rocks!