Former Horsham boss Charman’s ‘venture into the unknown’ with Rocks role

Gary Charman lets fly, but his effort is saved by Mersham keeper Brannon Daly in the FA Cup 1st Round Qualifyer. SUS-150913-212124002
Gary Charman lets fly, but his effort is saved by Mersham keeper Brannon Daly in the FA Cup 1st Round Qualifyer. SUS-150913-212124002

Former Horsham boss Gary Charman says it is a ‘venture into the unknown’ as he steps up into the management team at Bognor this season.

The fans’ favourite spent 17 years with the Hornets making 589 appearances, scoring 163 goals as he featured as a player and latterly managed the side.

After stepping down at the start of 2015, the versatile defender joined Bognor at the start of the following campaign and has settled at Nyewood Lane.

And he is again set to turn his hand on the management side in some capacity after a summer of turmoil at the now National League South side.

Despite promotion, boss Jamie Howell left to take up the job at Eastbourne Borough and, after a two-month search, Sami El-Abd was appointed player-boss.

He then had to pull out of the role after 12 days because of worries over him balancing it with his full-time job.

Charman, who will continue playing, will now be helping general manager Jack Pearce and coach Darin Killpartrick run the team.

He said: “I was player-manager for about 16 months at Horsham so I’m used to this side of a football club.

“Sami had been keen for me to be involved as an assistant and although his role has now fallen through, which is a real shame for him, I’ve had a quick conversation with Jack and the idea is I will still be involved.

“Jack, Dabba (Killpartrick)and I have a fair bit of experience between us and although it’s an unusual set-up, there’s no reason it can’t work.

“It’s a bit of a venture into the unknown but we’re looking forward to it.

“We have a lot of players who were already at the club who are National South standard or higher and it’s excellent that we still have them.

“And although Jamie Howell was a big loss when he went to Eastbourne, at least we didn’t lose Dabba too. That would have left us huge shoes to fill.

“We have a lot of the people we had in doing so well last season and that’s a good starting point.”

Rocks ran out 4-0 winners in their first friendly against Worthing on Saturday and Charman added: “We’ve got a good squad shaping up but need one or two more.

“We’ve been getting between 20 and 25 at training and the attitude and work-rate has been very good.”