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Fans’ favourite Sami El-Abd appointed player-manager of Bognor Regis Town

Pic: Bognor Regis Town FC

BOGNOR REGIS TOWN have turned to fans’ favourite Sami El-Abd as their new manager to lead them into the National League South.

The Rocks were left stunned when boss Jamie Howell decided to leave the club just 48 hours after the Ryman Premier play-off success over Dulwich Hamlet last month to take charge of Eastbourne Borough.

But Bognor didn’t have to look far for their next manager, appointing El-Abd as player-boss after a detailed recruitment process.

Former Whitehawk, Crawley and Chelmsford centre-half El-Abd will be assisted by senior player Gary Charman while Darin Killpartrick continues as a coach.

Rocks general manager Jack Pearce told the Bognor Observer: “The people we have spoken to about the vacancy, apart from one, did not have experience of being a No1 at the level we will be playing at, and one of the strengths of our club in recent seasons has been the team spirit, and we felt an appointment from within was the right way to go.

“This move helps Sami’s development in football and puts a popular figure in charge of the team. We will assist him as a club in every way possible.

“The biggest challenge will come with how everyone reacts if we are not successful. For the past two-and-a-half years the players, the staff, supporters and the media have been used to success.

“We will evaluate performances and if we’re unsuccessful we will look at why that is. But what we won’t do is throw money we don’t have at any problem.

“We’ll be doing all we can to stay up but if we don’t, we won’t put the club at risk and in a position where it can’t compete at the lower level again.”

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