Bognor say being fit - and tight-knit - can bring success

Rocks coach Robbie Blake believes confidence in the playing ranks is vital if Bognor are to challenge at the top end of the table once the Isthmian premier division action gets under way.

Robbie Blake has been overseeing the Rocks' pre-pre-season fitness work and team bonding / Picture: Martin Denyer
Robbie Blake has been overseeing the Rocks' pre-pre-season fitness work and team bonding / Picture: Martin Denyer

And it was with this in mind that Blake took his charges to Portsmouth’s Basecamp gym to experience training of a different kind and generate team bonding which, he says, helps with trust and belief in your team-mates.

The Bognor aces were put through their paces by former Pompey and Rocks defender, and former professional boxer David Birmingham –brother of Nye Camp fans’ favourite Michael, current Horndean boss.

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The gym work formed part of an early return to training for the squad after two tough sessions with the ball at the club’s training HQ. Players such as Joe Cook, Amadou Tangara and Jordy Mongoy will start full training in earnest next Wednesday ahead of the first pre-season friendly at Littlehampton Town a week later on July 7 – which will now be followed by a prestige home friendly against Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink’s League One Burton Albion on July 10.

Manager Jack Pearce’s men then head to Havant on July 17 and Horndean on July 24 before hosting a Pompey XI on July 28 and Dorking on August 1.

A home game versus Chichester City concludes the build-up up on August 7 before the league season kicks off a week later.

Blake believes confidence should be high going into the campaign. He said: “The lads absolutely loved the gym work – but it was very, very hard. The session we did at Basecamp was excellent, a bit different for the players but we had an element of team bonding which was good. It helps generate good team spirit and camaraderie, which can breed confidence. All of these are vital for any side and we are no different.

“We want to go into the season as fit and prepared as possible and we are certainly on track to do this.

“We were very well looked after at Basecamp and want to thank David and the team there for all of their help. It’s a state-of-the-art gym with lots of experienced staff up on their sports science knowledge and overall it was very worthwhile indeed.”

Meanwhile, the Rocks are delighted with the sales of season tickets since the season was concluded due to the pandemic. Call Simon Cook (0752 7455167) or Laura Denby (01243 822325) to book.