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Bognor appoint ex-Leeds, Burnley, Bradford, Darlington player as new manager

Bognor Regis Town appoint ex-Leeds, Burnley, Bradford, Darlington player Robbie Blake as their new manager, replacing Jack Pearce.

Former Premier League star Blake was handed the interim role, with Jamie Howell as his assistant, until the end of the campaign.

But now, those at the top of the club have revealed they have given the job to Blake, who says he can’t wait to undertake his duties on a permanent basis.

CLUB STATEMENT:

Robbie Blake has been officially appointed as the new manager of the Rocks, the club has announced — and he says he is bursting with pride after taking over from Jack Pearce.

Long-serving Pearce stepped down two weeks ago and former Premier league star Blake was handed the interim role, with Jamie Howell as his assistant, until the end of the campaign.

Now, though, Nye Camp bosses have revealed they have given the job to Blake — and the ex-Pompey coach says he can’t wait to undertake his duties on a permanent basis.

Blake guided his charges to 2-1 Isthmian premier division victory over Merstham at Nyewood Lane on Tuesday night and will look for another win when Bognor host Margate on Non-League Day on Saturday.

The ex-Burnley and Leeds United striker says is focussed on a positive conclusion to the current season with one eye firmly on a busy summer ahead of next term. And he has paid tribute to Pearce, who has been with the club for 52 years and remains a hugely influential figure at the club.

He said: “I’m really excited and I am proud and honoured to become the manager of this great football club. To follow Jack will be no mean feat given what he has achieved and his stature within the game.

“I have learned so much from Jack in the four years I have been here, both in terms of on the pitch and off the pitch too. The way to conduct yourself as a manger and to be able to set an example as a leader, qualities that will definitely stand you in good stead.

“I hope to be able to build a team that supporters are proud to cheer on and we want to try to add experience to the younger players we have so we can go forward positively and build — and try to enjoy success.”

Blake’s appointment comes as the Rocks prepare to celebrate Non-League Day on Saturday with a series of offers for fans.

General manager Simon Cook explained: “We host our friends from Margate in an Isthmian premier division game here at Nyewood Lane on Saturday and we very much look forward to seeing supporters enjoy their day.

“Prior to 2pm, we’ve set admission prices at £5 entry for all adults — and children enter for free. In our events venue, Seasons, between noon and 2pm. Fosters, John Smiths and Inches Cider is just £2.50 a pint. And in the club megastore we’re offering 25 per cent discount on merchandise.

“Busker David Solo will also be on hand to liven up proceedings. Come and cheer on the Rocks and celebrate all that is good in the non-league game.”

ROBBIE BLAKE’S PLAYING CAREER:

Youth career

–1994 – Darlington

Senior career
1994–1997 – Darlington – 68 games (21 goals)
1995–1996 → Waterford United (loan) – 2 games (0 goals)
1997–2002 – Bradford City – 153 games (40 goals)
2000 → Wolves (loan) – 11 games (1 goal)
2002–2005 – Burnley – 120 games (42 goals)
2005 – Birmingham City – 11 games (2 goals)
2005–2007 – Leeds United – 77 games (19 goals)
2007–2010 – Burnley – 122 games (19 goals)
2010–2012 – Bolton Wanderers – 9 games (1 goal)
2012–2013 – Doncaster Rovers – 7 games (0 goals)
2013 – Team Northumbria
Total – 580 games (145 goals)

Teams managed
2015–2018 – Portsmouth (coach)
2018– Bognor Regis Town (coach)

There was plenty of reaction as Bognor appoint the ex-Leeds, Burnley, Bradford, Darlington player as their new manager…

@lisburnclaret: Fantastic news many congratulations @Blake1976Rob, here’s to the young lads following in your footsteps.

@Worsthornelad: Good luck Robbie

@rik_may: Good luck Robbie miss you at pompey great character and coach will be a great manager.

@gemmaraggett: Congratulations @Blake1976Rob 👏👏💙

@firgy_snr: All the best Robbie 👏👏

@ju_no1: All the best @Blake1976Rob 💪

@Nick7Houghton: Wishing you success, @Blake1976Rob Claret legend

@Dinglejnr: Still my all time favourite claret @Blake1976Rob but this makes me feel old! All the best Robbie if you’re half as good a manager as you was a claret you’ll smash it.

@PaulSue1517: Good luck Robbie, get the experience and then come back to the Clarets 😉😉😉

@rickcraven600: Good luck Robbie and congratulations

@HiggyClaret1234: Best of luck Robbie. You’ll smash it pal

@turfmoorhouse: Go smash it @Blake1976Rob. Every #twitterclarets wishes you well!

@SeanBarnes9643: Congrats @Blake1976Rob UTC always a Clarets legend.

@KarenFaz: He’s worked bloody hard to get to this point, over the moon for @Blake1976Rob to get this chance 🙌🏻

@andyhodgsontv: The Clarets legend @Blake1976Rob is the new gaffer! 👏🏼👏🏼 But will he be wearing the Bad Beat Bob lucky underpants? #twitterclarets #burnleyfc #UTC

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