Bognor snap up Dartford defender - and there's more boosts to come

Rocks chiefs Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake have moved to snap up Dartford defender Gavin McCallum as they continue to piece together their squad ahead of the new season.

Gavin McCallum at Nyewood Lane - but next time he'll be in a white and green shirt
Gavin McCallum at Nyewood Lane - but next time he'll be in a white and green shirt

Canadian McCallum, 33, has switched from the National League South outfit to the Nye Camp with Darts boss Steve King said to be keen to retain his services but fully understanding of the versatile schemer’s desire to play for a club closer to his Sussex home.

McCallum is no stranger to Bognor; he was involved with the club’s pre-season build-up to the 2008-09 season but opted to join Sutton United at that stage of his career.

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News of his arrival comes as the Bognor bosses remain confident that full-back Calvin Davies will sign a new deal and that midfielder Jake Flannigan will join up with the squad in July as the Rocks undertake their pre-season friendlies.

McCallum, who has played for Havant, Lincoln City, Eastbourne Borough and Woking among a host of other clubs, earned a solitary cap for Canada in 2010 and even scored a 92nd-minute equaliser to secure a 1-1 draw with Venezuela.

His ability to adapt positionally – he can operate as a left-back, as a wide man or through the middle as an attacking midfielder – has been key to his recruitment.

Pearce is hopeful that McCallum won’t be the only new face in the ranks come the start of the season.

He said: “We have encouraging movement in terms of player recruitment and hope to be able to announce some more news soon.

“As ever at this time of year, things tend to move slowly but we’ve been steadfast in our approach and we’re confident that we can soon finalise our squad and be able to go into our pre-season friendly matches with the group of players that will serve us well once the season kicks off.”

Blake says he is buoyed by the signing. He added: “To be able to attract a player of his ability and experience speaks volumes about our intent for the season ahead.

“He was at Dartford last season at a higher level so we know he can offer lots to us and we know he can easily adapt to our style. It’s a big signing for us and we can’t wait to get started.”

McCallum joins the likes of Amadou Tangara, Harvey Whyte, Joe Cook and James Crane in committing to the Rocks cause for 2021-22.