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Player departures and the resumption of matches: an update

It has been confirmed that Ryan Blackman and Lyle Della-Verde have signed deals at Welling United following the recently announced dual registration arrangement with them.

Town Chairman Paul Reed said “It’s no surprise that Lyle and Ryan have excelled at Step 2 – they are both very fine players as we have seen from their performances in a Town shirt throughout their time with us. We always knew there would be a risk of us losing one or both players once they had dual-registered and we wish them every success in the future.

“Without contracts for most of our players, we were unable to do anything to prevent Ryan and Lyle dual-registering with Welling. We tried to work with the spirit of the dual registration arrangement rather than fighting it and possibly either or both players asking to deregister with us. We of course understood the impact of the lack of football income on both players’ own personal circumstances and wanted to be sympathetic to their desire to earn some income during these tough times.

“My day job is in the world of recruitment and it’s hard not to equate that with this current situation. If the vast majority of us were offered more money or a perceived bigger role with a different organisation then which of us wouldn’t take that opportunity? Us supporters will always have unflinching loyalty to our club, whereas players are understandably much more likely to see their time with us as part of a wider career for themselves.

“Where I do feel let down, though, is with Welling and their communication around all this. The management team there were very proactive when they wanted to approach the players and looked to fully utilise their contacts at our club to expedite the moves. However, this proactivity has been noticeably absent throughout the past week or so, with the only news of the departures coming from the players themselves. Nothing surprises me in football, however, and we can only maintain our own standards as a club and continue to act as professionally and as decently as possible whilst keeping the club’s best interests at the heart of all we do.”

Away from player news, Paul has also given an update on the restart of games at our level: “There is still a lot of uncertainty around if and when our league season will recommence, not least as the new tier systems make it impossible for some clubs in our league to host spectators and for the rest of us to benefit from secondary income through bar takings etc. The Isthmian League have called a meeting of all member clubs on Tuesday evening in an attempt to gain a consensus with which to move forward. The league will then, in turn, work with the other Trident leagues to come up with an aligned approach across Steps 3 and 4. There are a huge raft of factors to consider across the country and I’m sure there will be plenty of debate to come. We will of course keep you updated.

“Whilst the league campaign remains somewhat in limbo, I think it is clear that we will be expected to play our Buildbase FA Trophy match against Maldon & Tiptree on Wednesday 9th December. Further details and ticket information will be released as soon as possible.”

With this match approaching, manager Andy Leese has confirmed that there will be a behind-closed-doors friendly at Hayes & Yeading United on Saturday 5th December.