Get involved: Send pictures, video, news and views - text NEWS SHOPPER to 80360 or email us
Wings suffer new blow as Perkins quits
Last night's game at Maidenhead was the final one for Steve Perkins (above). MATCH PHOTOS BY DAVE BUDDEN.
STEVE Perkins has left Welling United after struggling to make it to training from his Chiswick home.
The midfielder returned to Park View Road for his second spell at the club in the summer and played in last night's 2-0 defeat at Maidenhead.
However, manager Andy Ford this afternoon confirmed Perkins had gone because the player was enduring a nightmare crossing the capital to reach training.
The Wings chief explained: “Steve recently left Chiswick at 4.30pm and had only reached Lewisham by 8pm.
“It wasn’t the first time it happened either and all credit to the boy because he had been giving it a real go.
“I begged him to come back but the travelling was getting too much.
“That is the reality of having non-contract players – they are here today and gone tomorrow.”
Ford also conceded his gamble to go with a smaller squad this season had not paid off after a disastrous start to the campaign which has seen the Wings pick up just five points from their opening nine games.
He said: “This season we’ve had to operate on a smaller budget but I want to make it clear this is not a criticism or excuse because we are not the only club in the credit crunch to pay this price in the division.
“It was always going to be hard to achieve what we did last year because the budget was less, but I decided to go for quality rather than quantity.
“Obviously the injury situation hasn’t helped but I can’t keep on coming up with that because some of those players are already back fit now.
“There are still quality players missing admittedly, although I have to accept now the quality over quantity policy was the wrong one.”
Ford says too many players have already come and gone this year, something he is determined to put a stop to.
“We need to build some continuity because there have been far too many changes,” he added.
“Steve Perkins is obviously the latest one to go but I’m still looking to bring people in.
“I’ve probably been a bit over budget in the last couple of weeks, so one of the benefits from all the people going is that it does free the budget up again.”
Ford’s number one priority is to sign a striker, something he just missed out on last week.
He said: “I’m trying to get a big target man because we are playing with two short guys up top at the moment and you can’t really get away with that in non-league football.
“I had one lined up last week but he wanted a contract and I wasn’t prepared to give him one.
“The player has gone to a club at a lower level as they were prepared to offer him the security of a contract.
“Time only will tell if I made the right decision.”
And the manager also clarified how Danny Spiller came to play in a one-game deal for the wings against Newport on Saturday, a decision which drew some criticism from the club’s supporters.
Ford said: “I had a phone call from Craig Rocastle after the Dover game in which he told me he couldn’t play any more on the money I was paying him.
“Ryan Johnson was out injured, so I was short of options in midfield for Newport.
“I’d already signed Lee Blackburn as a replacement for Craig but he was nowhere near match fit.
“Danny is someone I’ve known since he was about 10 and he was looking for games.
“He did a pre-season at Brighton and had played for Wycombe in the Carling Cup, where I think he got man of the match.”
The boss added: “Danny played for Dagenham reserves last Tuesday and their manager John Still told me there was no problem if he played for us against Newport.
“It is one of those things where if Danny had played really well and we had won the game, everybody would have been saying what a great decision it was.
“Obviously that didn’t happen but it was only because Lee Blackburn wasn’t fit that we ended up using him in the first place.
“I did start Lee last night at Maidenhead but I could only use him for an hour as he is still a bit off the pace.”
Welling visit fellow strugglers Dorchester Town on Saturday.