Ridgeons League club Haverhill Rovers` centre half Stuart Wardley has turned down the chance of an improved pay….
….packet at AFC Sudbury for the second successive summer.
The supporters’ player or the year for last season played for the Ryman League Division One North side in their 1-0 friendly win against Felixstowe & Walton United last week, scoring the game’s only goal.
However, with negotiations between the two clubs having dragged on for several weeks, the 35-year-old former Queens Park Rangers and Rushden & Diamonds man has decided to remain at the New Croft.
Rovers boss Peter Betts explained that although Wardley would have got more cash from joining Sudbury, it would not have been the equivalent of what other centre halves who ‘aren’t as good as him’ were receiving at the MEL Group Stadium.
Also, Wardley had been called by two Sudbury players encouraging a move, and though Betts praised the club’s assistant-manager Chris Tracey for being ‘very professional’ in keeping in touch regarding the proposed transfer, he said manager Nicky Smith had not been in touch.
Betts said: “The communication lines have been great between Chris and the club – he has done everything I would expect from a Sudbury member of staff from start to finish and communicated daily, which I would expect from the manager.
“They made Stuart an offer financially that was good for Ridgeons level but for Ryman level, and for what other players are getting that are not as good as him, was not suitable.
“He is better than what Sudbury have got but Nicky Smith is not willing to go the extra mile for him.
“Financially, we can’t compete with Sudbury, but Stuart knows he is wanted here and likes the style of football we play, and they were after a no-nonsense centre half.”
Betts expressed his delight at keeping ‘a big personality for us’ and ‘a big role model for the children’.