COLUMN: Rocks ship needs a captain - and much more

A return to the Bostik Premier Division it is then for Bognor Regis Town Football Club next season, writes Dean Adams.

Friday, 11th May 2018, 5:33 pm
Updated Friday, 8th June 2018, 6:23 am
Jack Pearce with Kenny Jackett at last summer's Rocks-Pompey friendly / Picture by Tim Hale

I can’t say I am too excited at this point. It all feels a bit like a boat without a sailor or any paddles, floating uncontrollably down a sunny river.

Still there’s no news coming out of the club as to who is sailing the ship, with people jumping overboard and others expected to follow. The manager rumour mill - which was in full swing last post-season - has died a death. Supporters seem to have given up with who it may be.

Is it Michael Birmingham? Is it Guy Rutherford? I'd imagine if it was either, they'd be in by now. The club needs the feelgood factor back. Maybe an ex-professional in the hotseat like Havant & Waterlooville or Worthing. It's certainly going to be an interesting few weeks.

A lot of talk surrounded Dabba’s (Darin Killpartrick) exit and rightly so, a wonderful servant to the club in his 18 years, incredible. But another unsung hero was that of secretary Simon Cook, who has also seemingly departed. Always very approachable and likeable, he will be sorely missed by the club. Dabba will take all the glory on the pitch but Simon deserves a standing ovation of his own with the time he has given to the club.

It’s the off-field positions which Jack Pearce has highlighted as just as important in getting the right, committed people into the club who can take things forward. In his last interview he stated the need of ‘youth’ behind the scenes – and I totally agree. The future of the club needs protecting.

At the moment, there’s a lack of communication coming from the club as to what is going on.

We have the Worthing derbies back again next season and I see they have already announced eight of their players are staying on for next season. They have a young manager in Adam Hinshelwood who is a highly qualified and respected coach and is a former professional who actually was available to the Rocks this time last season – and he only lives in Selsey.

I’ve not spoken to Adam about this but he headed to Hastings at the time before rejoining Worthing. He was the perfect fit for the Lane in my eyes.

As we stand, we have no coach, no secretary, and no idea who is staying or going player-wise. And no idea whether to laugh or cry.

To be perfectly honest, I’d already expected a new manager to be in place by now. Planned and in. Seat warm. Players knowing who the manager is and wanting to sign for the club. Now I see players are already signing elsewhere.

And I see one of Worthing’s recommitted players is former Pagham striker Kieron Pamment, who is banging in the goals. Just saying.

Managers' most quoted words post-season now seem to be, “we need to get our summer business done early”. It’s what Kenny Jackett has stated at Portsmouth and it’s what Adam is stating at Worthing.

None of this is a dig at Jack Pearce. I saw about 10 home games last season and sat near him at the back of the stand, and I can see what this club means to him. Aside of any achievements, anybody who re-mortgages their house for the sake of the club deserves respect. This club is stable today because of him but I’d love him to one day sit back and enjoy the football with no responsibilities. Now is the chance for others – the future of the club – to step forward or be brought in.

I doubt anyone will offer to help behind the scenes. As everybody loves being a keyboard warrior and expects perfect sailing and promotions as Jack runs the club with less help, and then gets moaned at.

If Jack walked away completely - it makes you wonder what would happen without his commitment. But it is time for a new manager on the sidelines.

Dean Adams is a sports reporter for Sky Sports and can be followed @deanoadams on twitter.