Bromley Football Club have confirmed the permanent signing of popular forward Omar Bugiel on a two year contract.
The Lebanese international spent the latter half of last season on loan with the Ravens and became the spearhead of Neil Smith’s attack towards the end of the campaign, hitting form and ending his spell with six goals in 22 appearances, the most memorable of which came in the Buildbase FA Trophy Final at Wembley Stadium, in front of a 31,000 strong crowd.
The 24 year old began his career in his native Germany, where he was on the books as a youth player at 1860 Munich. At 16 years of age, Bugiel moved to England, where he became part of the youth team at Chichester City.
After two spells at Selsey, sandwiched between a brief stay at Burgess Hill Town, Bugiel moved onto Bognor Regis Town, from where he joined Worthing, the club where he made his name in football.
121 appearances and 48 goals later, Bugiel attracted the attention of Forest Green Rovers, for whom he signed in July 2017. He was part of the side who achieved promotion to Sky Bet League 2 through the playoffs, and went on to play his part in the first half of the season with the Gloucestershire outfit.
He then joined the Ravens on loan in January 2018, amidst interest from another National League sides. After building his fitness up in his initial weeks with the Club, Bugiel became a nailed-on starter, and chipped in with his fair share of late goals, helping Bromley to their best ever campaign.
Neil Smith was over the moon to bring him to Hayes Lane on a permanent basis; “I’m delighted. Omar came in midway through the season and was absolutely phenomenal when we got him up to match fitness at the end of the season. He was the one I really wanted this season and I’m absolutely delighted he’s chosen us. There were other, so called bigger clubs who wanted him, but he chose us and I’m pleased to have him leading my front line.”
Bugiel himself had plenty of choice during the Summer break, but insisted his heart was always at Hayes Lane; “I’m really happy to be here. It’s good that we’ve managed to sort everything before the season starts. It’s very important to be here for a full pre-season, as it’s when you find out about and work with your new team mates. Last season was tough in the way it ended, but I’m ready to kick on again with the new players and those who have re-signed, and I’m really looking forward to it. I felt a warm welcome when I arrived and felt at home throughout the six months I was here, all the way to Wembley. Seeing over 18,000 fans supporting us there was incredible. Hopefully next season we can get even more fantastic support, as it really drives the boys on.”
Bromley have also announced that experienced defender Roger Johnson has committed his future to the Ravens for the upcoming campaign.
The former Premier League Captain and centre-back has signed a new deal, keeping him at Hayes Lane for the foreseeable future. Roger becomes the latest man to sign up to Neil Smith’s squad and adds a wealth of experience to an already strong defensive unit, brought together by the Bromley manager.
Johnson first signed for the Ravens back in October 2017 and made his first appearance in a goalless draw against Dover Athletic in the FA Cup. The former Cardiff City, Birmingham City and Wolves central defender became a stalwart in the Bromley back line last season and will continue to provide guidance to the younger members of the squad alongside the management team.
Manager Neil Smith was pleased to keep the former Premier League man back at Bromley; “Roger came in at a difficult time last year, but his experience is immense and it really helped us, especially getting to the 1st Round of the FA Cup and the Final of the FA Trophy. With a relatively young squad, it’s important to have someone like Roger around and he’s always a pleasure to work with. The players have and will continue to learn from him.”
Roger himself added; “I’m glad to get the deal done. It’s been a long process, pretty much since the end of the season. We can just move forward now and I can focus on getting fit and being ready for the new season.”
Omar and Roger join the following players in committing to the Ravens for next season:
Kyle De Silva
Neil Smith remains in talks with members of last season’s squad and potential further signings.
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