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Oakwood Angry With Keeper Departure

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Mark Gilbert, manager of Sussex County League Division Two club Oakwood, is angry his promising first-team…

…goalkeeper Jess Grimstone has been taken by Ryman League Division One South neighbours Three Bridges without he says any communication between the two clubs.

Grimstone, 18, was on the bench for Bridges on Tuesday night for them away to Hastings United in the Ryman League Cup.

Bridges’ keeper Simon Lehykj has transferred to Sussex County League Division One side Hassocks and Alan Mansfield has also returned to the club from Worthing after six years away.

Gilbert complained: “I think Three Bridges have shown total disrespect by not having the decency to talk to any of the management team at Oakwood reference their interest.

“Jess has served Oakwood well for a number of years and deserves a chance of football at a higher level. It’s just not neighbourly and our conscience is clear.”

Bridges’ manager Paul Faili said: “Our secretary Martin Clarke spoke to Mark six weeks ago about this, so I don’t know where this idea has come from. Jess is a product of Oakwood’s renowned youth academy. They have done very well. There’s a lot of home grown players who can play Ryman League or above.”

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About Author

Former Swansea City and Kettering Town defender who has been managing the likes of Kettering Town u18s, Rothwell Town, Desborough Town and Wellingborough Town for 33 years as well as being technical director at AFC Rushden & Diamonds. Began in non-League journalism as editor of Team Talk magazine back in the early 1990s and then as editor of Non-League Daily, joining Pitchero to set up Pitchero Non-League in January 2011. Also works for the National League.

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