Ridgeons Football League
Published 28th October 2011
....during the Ridgeons League Premier Division club’s recent FA Vase victory over league rivals Wroxham.
Twenty-four-year-old Sands made the announcement after failing to come on during Town’s 1-0 victory over the Yachtsmen in the First Round of the competition.
This season has seen the former Cambridge City player make only a handful of appearances for Mildenhall after struggling with a knee injury, first picked up while on trial during pre-season with Blue Square Bet Premier side Cambridge United.
“I feel that I am now at my peak and would like to play at a higher level,” said Sands.
“No disrespect to the Mildenhall, but I feel the Ridgeons League is a poor division this year and I want to take on a new challenge
“I think the manger still feels I am not fit, but I feel 100 per cent fine and I need to start playing games.
“Mildenhall have been a good club to me and I have enjoyed playing there having won two trophies but I think the time is right to move on.”
Last season saw Sands, who also missed Mildenhall’s 5-0 victory over Swaffham Town in the Ridgeons League Cup, plunder thirty-one goals in thirty-seven league games for the Ridgeons Premier outfit.
In addition to his goals in the league, the former Mildenhall College of Technology pupil, who still has eighteen months to run on his contract, bagged the match-winning brace for Town during their second successive victory in the final of the Cambs Invitation Cup at Cambridge United’s R Costings Abbey Stadium.
In light of Sands’ decision, Mildenhall manager Christian Appleford confirmed that an early approach had been made by one unnamed club from a higher league.
“It is early days yet but an inquiry has been made by one side,” said Appleford.
“After his trial at Cambridge, we have always said we would not stand in John’s way should he wish to leave.
“I know he feels that with the goals he has scored last season he feels he should be starting each game, but he has been out with an injury and needs to be eased back in.
“Plus, with the form both Owen Paynter and Andrew Wood are in I can’t guarantee him a starting place each week.
“There are no bad feelings between us, but I think all parties concerned feel it is the right time for him to move on and progress with his career.”