Why winning the league is not everything for young Rocks

Coach Paul Hinshelwood
Coach Paul Hinshelwood

Paul Hinshlewood insists the true test of his young Bognor side will not necessarily be winning the U19 Alliance League but rather just how many starlets graduate to the Rocks first team.

The U19s boss takes his table-toppers into league action once again on Wednesday (Feb 6) against Corinthian Casuals at Nyewood Lane -- a game for which admission is free, with a 1pm kick-off. Bognor are top of the pile with rivals Worthing on the same points tally but having played a game more.

Hinshlewood's outfit host second-bottom Casuals in their first game since they walloped AFC Wimbledon 15-0 two weeks ago. But despite their dominance in the majority of league games, the manager says seeing players develop so they are included in the plans of first team chief Jack Pearce and coach Robbie Blake is the goal.

He said: "We shouldn't be judged on whether we win the league or not, although I am not saying that won't be a great achievement and one which, if it happens, will be great for the lads for their application and endeavour.

"But it is really all about how these lads progress and what we really want to see is as many of them coming into the first team frame as possible. Recently we have had Liam Brady, Ronald Kardos and Linden Burke involved with the first team and that is ever so pleasing.

"Also, both Jack and Robbie have invited more of our players to train with the first team and this a great way to introduce them to the standards they'll need to achieve to continue their progression and development."

Young Rocks enjoy getting better of Worthing
In the 15-0 demolition of the Dons last time out, Bognor scored after just 18 seconds when prolific striker Ollie Humphries netted his first of an incredible seven-goal haul. And as much as it was a pleasing start to proceedings, what cheered Hinshlewood most was that his squad had actually worked on the quick-fire attack.

He added: "We saw Chelsea do it and decided to give it a go and it worked well. We aim to get a cross in as soon as possible from the kick-off and Jack Hands delivers superbly and Ollie hit it home."

*The Rocks' first team are also in action on Wednesday - they go to high-flying Merstham in the Bostik premier.