THE ROCKS report back for duty on Monday – but one key man may be behind his team-mates in the fitness stakes.
Midfielder Harvey Whyte has still not fully recovered from an ankle injury that ruled him out of the end of last season.
He will be monitored by the club’s medical staff before they plot his pre-season regime.
Otherwise, manager Jamie Howell expects a fit group of players – including the new faces he has attracted – to report for the first session.
The Rocks will train three times a week until their friendlies kick in – with a match against a Stoke City XI first up on Tuesday, July 15.
They have also added a trip to local rivals Worthing of Ryman one south to their programme of friendlies. They will visit Woodside Road on Monday, July 28 (7.45pm).
Howell said he was looking forward to getting the players in so the build-up to a new campaign could begin.
“We’ll start off by checking their fitness levels and it always takes a few sessions to get fully into the swing of things,” he said.
“Hopefully they’ll all come back in good shape and there’ll be good numbers present.
“Harvey is still troubled by the injury he suffered when he rolled his ankle so we’ll need to have a look at him and play it carefully. Hopefully he will build up his fitness pretty quickly, though.”
New faces due to join in pre-season include former Whithawk goalkeeper Chris Winterton, who has signed a year’s deal, and Portchester centre-half Joe Noakes.
In addition, striker/winger Darren Wheeler, midfielders Charlie Oatway and Jamie Crellin and defender Matt Whitehead have said they are keen to link up with the Rocks for pre-season with a view to joining the squad. Oatway is also expected to spend some time with Worthing.
Meanwhile, the club are in the process of signing up sponsors for the new season. Anyone willing to pay £150 plus VAT will go into the draw from which the main shirt sponsor and a range of other backers will be drawn.
Any business or individual interested should ring Maurice Warner on 07508 106701.