Rob Clark, manager of Uhlsport Hellenic League Division One West club Lambourn Sports, has been left shocked and….
….upset this week as his squad has been raided by local clubs.
Allegedly taking advantage of having a budget to entice his players away, Clark has lost three players in the space of seven days. Midfielder Danny Langford and striker Alex Toley have followed former committee member Jim Greenwood to Evo-Stik League Southern Division One Central neighbours Thatcham Town.
Club captain Matthew Pedder originally decided to leave the club again, last season it was for Hungerford Town and this time joining Hellenic Premier side Newbury, although he has since had a change of heart.
Clark said: “I’m not happy after the week I have had. Just as you feel your building something, three players are gone in the blink of an eye. I could field a really strong team just from the players that have left me for various reasons and it’s made things very difficult.
“There is no loyalty in football anymore as soon as a club offers the players £20-£30 they are gone without a second thought about what myself or the club has done for them.
“Some of these players have more clubs in one season than I had in eighteen years of playing the game. It puzzles me. When I signed for a club it was for the season and we all stuck together but players of today just move from club to club, chasing the money.”
However, after a meeting with Clark, Pedder turned his back on the move to Newbury and opted to stay.
Clark said: “It has been a nightmare trying to speak to ‘Peds’ he sent me a text message saying that he wanted to join Newbury, I texted back saying that I wanted to speak to him and I finally got the chance to do that. I told Matthew my feelings and he explained how he felt. To be fair to the lad I think a few of the Newbury lads had turned his head but when it came down to it he stayed loyal which has really impressed me.”
Pedder commented: “I was tempted to make the short trip to Newbury but after a chat with the manager and speaking to a few of the Lambourn lads I feel it’s best for me to stay. I enjoy my football there and have so much respect for the manager.
“They have a great group of lads there who did give me a bit of stick for even thinking about leaving, it made me think I was making a mistake. I’m going to give it everything to try and bring Lambourn and the manager some success this season.”