Hornchurch boss unhappy with departed trio

Joe Woolley and Reiss Noel have left Hornchurch to go to Australia (Gavin Ellis/TGS)

Joe Woolley and Reiss Noel have left Hornchurch to go to Australia (Gavin Ellis/TGS) - Credit: Gavin Ellis/TGSPHOTO

McFarlane: I’m very disappointed

Hornchurch boss Jimmy McFarlane has slammed Joe Woolley for dropping a “bombshell” on the club by quitting to head for Australia.

The goalkeeper is one of three players – including defender Reiss Noel and striker Lewis Smith – to leave the Urchins this summer and announce they are heading Down Under.

And although McFarlane suspects talks between the trio have secretly been taking place, he is particularly unhappy with Woolley – an ever-present last term – who he feels has left him in the lurch.

McFarlane said: “Joe dropped the bombshell last Tuesday and I’m very disappointed in him.

“If Joe had said two or three weeks ago that it was something he was thinking about, I could have started looking for a replacement.

“But now I’m left with no first-team goalkeeper.”

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Smith left to initially sign for Dartford last month while Noel had been prevaricating for some time.

McFarlane said: “Reiss has been a bit indecisive, to say the least, and in the end I called time on the matter.

“I believe an agent has been trying to get players out to Australia and it looks like something they have been talking about.

“I just would have appreciated it if they had been a bit more up front with me.”

The boss has spent the last week searching for a new goalkeeper and was hoping to have made progress before the end of this week.

McFarlane said: “I’ve been on the phone every day. We’ve also had two or three guys training with us.

“One is plenty good enough while another is a local lad who has been playing in Norway and looks decent, so I should know this week.”

On a more positive note, McFarlane has recruited former Urchins striker Carl Rook and left-sided midfielder/defender Derek Duncan.

Rook left Bridge Avenue a year ago to join Margate and recently agreed to join Whitstable, while Duncan was last at Maidenhead.

McFarlane said: “Carl was a big player for us when we got promoted. He doesn’t live far from Whitstable and decided to join them.

“He had a couple of training sessions with them but realised he was better than that level.

“He gave me a ring and we submitted a seven-day approach.

“As for Derek, he has a great CV, has played for Orient and is a smashing fellow. It’s a massive bonus to get him.”

McFarlane was expecting the rest of his squad to sign contracts yesterday (Thursday) ahead of the opening friendly at Witham on Tuesday.

n Tickets for Hornchurch’s August 3 clash with West Ham are on sale at the club on Tuesdays and Thursdays (5-9pm) and Saturdays (10am-1pm).

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