FA Trophy: Rocks have something special brewing

Gary Charman says something very special is brewing at Bognor and believes they fully deserve their crack at Wembley.

Friday, 11th March 2016, 2:00 pm
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 6:31 pm
Gary Charman salutes the fans at the end of the Torquay tie / Picture by Tommy McMillan

The versatile player signed for Rocks at the beginning of the campaign after a turbulent time as Horsham player-manager last season - a club he made 550 appearances for.

The defender-come-forward-come midfielder had a short spell at Lewes this campaign but admitted the draw of Bognor brought him straight back.

Charman maintains everything from the changing room to the style of play is right at the club ahead of their clash with National League Grimsby in the semi-finals of the FA Trophy this weekend.

They are just two games away from Wembley and he hopes they can keep it tight at Nyewood Lane on Saturday to give them a chance in the second leg a week later.

Charman said: “I am looking forward to it, it’s a huge game and we thoroughly deserve to be there. Some of the teams we have had to beat and play against home and away and come out on top of them, the guys thorough deserved it.

“I think we are a bit unfortunate to get Grimsby – out of the three sides we could have got, they are probably the one side that we did not want.

“It’s only a couple of football matches and if we can get in the home tie and then make it just one match, we will have a chance in the second leg.

“In the first couple of rounds, people were turning up expecting to beat Bognor, but all of a sudden people saw the style of football we play with the high press.

“The style we play is the best style in my opinion. We keep the ball and play well with it, are patient with it, but we also have the option of playing slightly longer - we don’t like doing it, but it’s nice to have that option.

“I’m a massive believer in getting the changing room right and then you always have a chance – and the changing room is phenomenal.

“It’s as good as any one I have ever been in, it reminds me of the FA Cup one (reaching the second round with Horsham in 2007) – we are all one big group of friends.

“There is something a little big special about this Bognor side and I just hope we can achieve what we have the potential to do.

“I would hate to look back and say too many games killed us. To achieve what we have already is incredible, but what we could go on to achieve is phenomenal.”

Wembley is not a banned word in the dressing room and although talk has been limited, Charman admitted all eyes are on the major prize.

He added: “It’s not been mentioned in the changing room, but everyone individually is thinking about it.

“Obviously I am, everyone is, but it is still so far away. We have a massive, if not the biggest side in non-league football ahead of us.

“We need to stay in the game on Saturday and try to come away with something.”


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