Rocks shock as El-Abd will not be player-boss

Sami El-Abd will not be Bognor's player-manager next season.

Monday, 10th July 2017, 11:52 am
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:31 am
Sami El-Abd remains at Bognor as a player and club captain. Picture:Tim Hale

He has had to pull out of the arrangement because of worries over combining the role with his full-time coaching job at Brighton and Hove Albion’s community department.

El-Abd will continue as the Rocks’ club captain but has had to step down from the role of first-team manager – which he was given less than a fortnight ago.

The 29-year-old had initially intended to combine the two jobs.

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However, following discussions between the two clubs it has been agreed that the popular defender will revert back to a playing role at Nyewood Lane.

Nonetheless, it will be a big consolation to Rocks fans, who will be stunned at this latest development – they had feared losing the talented defender to Worthing or another club before his player-boss role was confirmed.

In his place, general manager Jack Pearce, coach Darin Killpartrick and senior player Gary Charman – who had been named as El-Abd’s assistant – will run the team and see how they get on.

Pearce said: ‘We had hoped Sami would be able to combine the two roles.

However, both jobs involve a big commitment.

‘Following further discussions between all parties it is clear it would not be possible for Sami to fully commit to both roles.’

El-Abd has been with Bognor for two years and helped them win promotion from the Ryman League premier division last season.

He said: ‘I had hoped to be able to combine my work with Albion in the Community with the duties of first-team manager of Bognor Regis Town.

‘We have been on a historic journey with Bognor as a player and I intend to be part of that moving forward, and will continue to play for Bognor.

‘I look forward to giving my full support to the new manager of the club.’