Men's First Team
Isthmian League Premier Division Sat 12 August The Bauvill Stadium
  • Yila (33')
Bognor Regis Town

Smith, who returned to the club in the summer from Dulwich Hamlet, had a minor op on his foot in the summer and although his rehabilitation has been excellent Blake says the away day in Kent may be too soon for a full comeback.

Former Pompey youth forward Smith hasn’t played in any of the pre-season friendlies but may get some minutes when Bognor face West Sussex League outfit Flansham Park Rangers at the MK Arena on Friday in a practice match.

Blake said: “Dan has been working exceptionally hard to get back to full fitness and he is almost there but frustratingly it looks like the Chatham game will come too soon for him. We wouldn’t risk him and would rather have Dan playing when he has recovered entirely, so we will just have to be patient.”

Blake has called for an improvement in the intensity of his side’s approach as he eyes the Chatham opener after watching his men ease past Chichester City with a 4-1 friendly win on Saturday.

A brace from Jasper Mather and a goal each from Sam De St Croix and Tommy Lee Higgs were enough to see off the visitors but the performance left Blake frustrated.

And Blake added: “I expect a lot more from the players to be honest. We looked a bit laboured in our approach and they must realise that the intensity of the league games we have got coming up will mean that any lack of desire and effort will be punished.

“In fairness we have shown great attitude previously and enjoyed good results against Pompey, Worthing and Dorking so we know what they are capable of, it’s just a case of always being switched on.”

Blake has some decisions to make regards his starting line-up for the game at Chatham and those will be steered by his thinking on snapping up any of the various trialists that have featured of late.

He said: “My mind is pretty much made up save for a couple of players and we have enough time between now and the start of the season to be able to make those decisions. It’s a tough start away at Chatham and then home to Carshalton and Hashtag United but we feel that on our day we can impose ourselves and play the football we want to that has served us well when we get it right. To be honest, we can’t wait to get going.”