Hornchurch boss Mark Stimson reveals reason behind record goalscorer George Purcell’s departure

PUBLISHED: 17:06 12 November 2020 | UPDATED: 17:06 12 November 2020

Hornchurch's record goalscorer George Purcell has left the club. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

Hornchurch's record goalscorer George Purcell has left the club. Picture: Gavin Ellis/TGS Photo

©TGS Photo +44 1376 553468

Hornchurch manager Mark Stimson admitted that he could not guarantee George Purcell regular first-team football after it was revealed that the striker has left the club.

Purcell, who scored a club record 149 goals in 279 appearances during his first spell with the Urchins, had netted once more in nine appearances after rejoining them in early October.

But Stimson told the Recorder that Purcell had decided to move on once again after the pair had been honest with each other about his future.

The boss said: “George has been a massive part of the club. I’ve said many times before what he’s done for the club no-one will probably repeat.

“He came in when we were very light in numbers, especially in attacking areas, and helped us through that period.

“George, like most players, wants to play. I can’t guarantee him that and when we get the other boys back, he probably wouldn’t start.

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“We wish him all the best and we will probably bump into him this season somewhere along the way.”

The club’s fixtures have been suspended during lockdown after the government announced a pause for non-elite sport.

Stimson said he is hoping to hold one-to-one sessions with at least a couple of players and is confident his squad will come back in good shape whenever matches are allowed to start again.

The Recorder reported last week on the former Gillingham and Barnet manager’s calls for five substitutions to be introduced and he reiterated his pleas once again.

“I’ve been asking for this for the last three or four years because I really feel sorry for players who have to get out of work early and travel on a Tuesday, or even on a Saturday when you go to somewhere like Bognor Regis,” he added.

“When you know one or two are definitely not getting on, I feel bad for them because they have committed to us and made the trip, why we can’t put them on for the last 15 to 20 minutes is beyond me.”

Urchins sit eighth in the Isthmian League Premier Division after 10 games and Stimson said the timing of the break was “frustrating”.

He added: “Hopefully when we get back to playing, we’ll have a few players fit who haven’t really played much this season – such as Sam Higgins. In the last five league games we took 10 points so that’s the aim for the next five.”

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