Stowmarket Town boss unhappy with mass player exodus

STOWMARKET Town manager Shane Austin has expressed his disappointment at the way players have walked away from the club.

Austin, who was previously joint manager of Kingsley Healthcare SIL Division One side Bramford United, was brought in to replace Steve Jay, after he left the Ridgeons League Division One club by mutual consent in October.

Stowmarket, who were second from bottom when Austin arrived, have since slipped to the foot of the table in the wake of six straight league defeats.

Austin said: “I am really disappointed with the way some players have treated the club by walking away when the club needed them. I think they have been disrespectful to Stowmarket Town.

“Seven or eight players left before I even had the chance to meet them, and we have had a player leave almost every week since.

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“It is mainly down to the position the club are in and they have shown they are not up for the fight by leaving.

“I have been given a brief to re-build the first team and am slowly bringing new players in, but it is difficult to win games when you have two or three debutants every week.

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“There is probably one more leaving this week and that will mean that there are only four senior players - skipper James Graham, Lee Drummond, Jimmy Brown and Dean Pleasance - left since I arrived.

“If we were in mid-table I could have brought a whole new squad in by now, but players keep saying they will come next season rather than now.

“We have a lot of young players - I don’t think we have anyone aged over 26 or 27 - and it is going to take time. The club have been great and have told me to re-build, which is what I was told when I arrived.”

Stowmarket lost 4-0 at SIL Senior Division side Grundisburgh in the quarter-finals of the Suffolk Senior Cup last week, and Austin said: “With the squad they have got they are probably good enough to be a Ridgeons League Premier Division side.

“We did well in the first half, uphill and against the wind, until we conceded just before half time, but when the second goal went in we lost the plot.”

A tough trip to Swaffham Town awaits Stowmarket tomorrow, and Austin added: “It is a difficult place to go. I could have two young lads making their debuts, but I am more than confident in the players we have got.”

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