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Hornchurch boss laments player loss

10:00 16 May 2014

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane and Rickie Hayles (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Hornchurch manager Jim McFarlane and Rickie Hayles (pic: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO)

Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football League

Trio released over Sunday League action

Hornchurch announced the release of Rickie Hayles, Tambeson Eyong and Michael Spencer this week and manager Jimmy McFarlane wants to draw a line under the issue.

A statement posted on the club’s official website confirmed the trio had been involved with a Sunday League team this year and therefore would not be returning to the Ryman Premier Division club next season.

The statement said: “Rickie Hayles and Tambeson Eyong both played games for a Sunday side. They played on the Sunday, the day before the play-off final.

“Michael Spencer has been playing Sundays recently and most of the season whilst unfit to play for AFC Hornchurch in first team fixtures.

“All three players have been a major part of our side the last four years and we can assure you this decision was not taken lightly.

“Too much hard work takes place all season from everybody connected with AFC Hornchurch, whatever their roles may be. Many long hours are worked to provide us with the best possible chance of gaining promotion.

“Playing Sunday football the day before a play-off final or just playing Sunday football in between a Saturday and Tuesday game is totally unacceptable and not what is expected of an AFC Hornchurch player.”

Eyong appeared 46 times for Urchins in 2013/14, while Spencer made 43 appearances as they missed out on promotion in the play-off final at Lowestoft.

Hayles, meanwhile, was arguably the club’s player of the season and started 53 times in 2013/14 to show how important all three have been for the club.

McFarlane concedes they will be a massive loss, adding: “I think there has been enough already said about it and I just want to move on.

“It was upsetting to find out, but we are a big club and people want to come to us so we have to move on.

“They will be a massive loss and I would be a liar to say otherwise. Rickie was faultless all season, but it is done now and they’ll look to move on and so will we, but it will be a loss.”

McFarlane admits there will now be more turnover in players coming and going than he would have previously liked, but he is excited about the prospect of building a championship-winning squad for the 2014/15 campaign.

“Runners-up in the play-off final tells you there is not much wrong,” he added.

“Obviously I was only going to look to tinker first and foremost, but now with the loss of the other three, they will have to be replaced.

“There will probably be more turnover this year than normally, circumstances dictate that, but I am not anxious about it. I’m excited. I can’t wait to get back after having a week off!”

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