Bognor's new recruit promises experience, strength - and goals

New Rocks recruit Gavin McCallum believes his experience will contribute to a promotion charge this season.

Thursday, 8th July 2021, 8:23 am
Updated Thursday, 8th July 2021, 8:24 am
Gavin McCallum tries his new Rocks shirt for size / Picture: Martin Denyer

New Rocks recruit Gavin McCallum believes his experience will contribute to a promotion charge this season.

Although his National League South side Dartford offered him a new deal, McCallum declined, eager to play closer to his home in Brighton.

The versatile 33-year-old arrives at the Nye Camp with bundles of experience for Bognor bosses Jack Pearce and Robbie Blake to exploit, the well-travelled newcomer having played in League One and Two. He even earned an international cap for Canada in 2010, scoring in a 1-1 draw with Venezuela.

Last year, McCallum helped Dartford to second place before the National South season was scrapped.

McCallum is confident he’ll bring know-how and determination to the dressing room.

“I think I could really push the young players at the club. For me, I want to get promoted. That’s the goal. If not promotion, definitely play-offs, 100 per cent,” he told us.

“I definitely see myself as an experienced player at this level. I’ve played in the Conference and Conference South - in fact, the only leagues I haven’t played in are the Championship and Premier League.”

McCallum trained with Mick Jenkins’ Rocks squad before the 2008-09 season but decided to join Sutton United instead. And the Canadian remembers Bognor’s expansive style fondly.

“The football they play is unbelievable. I really like attractive football. If you do it right and have a plan with the ball, it gets you places. It was a big reason why I signed,” he said.

McCallum also noted Bognor’s lack of physicality in their last spell in National South and hopes he can add strength to the squad.

“I haven’t seen them in a while but back then, I felt they needed that bang in the final third. I played against Bognor when I was at Eastbourne in National South. I thought they were a bit lightweight at the time, but they got better as the season went on,” he said.

McCallum aims to contribute goals and assists from the right flank.

“I want eight to 15 goals next season and to chip in with assists as well. I’m a right winger but I’m left footed, so I like coming in and linking up with the striker. I will take players on, but I mostly like to get a yard so I can cross it and make things happen,” he added.