Spencer Day insists the shock departure of Tyrone Berry has nothing to do with budget cuts – but admits it’s given him an added headache as he looks to steer the club away from relegation danger.
Wide man Berry has been in blistering form since returning to the club last month, playing a starring role in the back-to-back home victories over Dorchester and Tonbridge Angels last week, scoring twice against the latter.
But the tricky former Sutton United man – a father-to-be – has been lured to Cray Wanderers on a dual-registration after the Ryman Premier strugglers offered him almost five times the money he was taking home from Cherrywood Road.
“It’s very unfortunate,” Day admitted. “Tyrone didn't want to go and I didn’t want him to go, but with a baby on the way and Cray closer to his home he felt he had no choice. I totally get that and he goes with my full blessing.
“It’s a shame because Tyrone was settling back in really well, but it just goes to show where the club is it when Cray Wanderers, with all due respect to them, sitting ten points adrift of safety at the bottom of the league below us, can offer him four or five times more than we can. We just could not compete with them.”
Day, however, has acted quickly to replace his latest departure by making a move for two young forward players this week.
First, he has brought in Ade Cole – a pacey young left-winger from Blackpool – on a trial basis, while a seven-day approach has also been put in for a hungry young forward from a Step 4 club.
“Ade’s very quick and an out-and-out left-winger,” Day explained. “We’ve got him on a two-week trial and he comes with good pedigree, so let’s see.”
At the same time, Day is also on the verge of sealing a deal to bring back popular midfield ace Harry Lee on an initial month’s loan from Leyton Orient, and is hoping to include all three in the squad for Whitehawk on Saturday, where he will go head-to-head with club adversary and former manager, Steve King, who has been named the club’s new boss.
King led Boro to the 2010-11 Conference South play-off final but since had a bitter falling out with the club's former owners over his severance and reportedly turned up for a game at Cherrywood Road last season demanding money.
But with King a creditor of the club, the situation has calmed and Day insists he has no problem with his contentious predecessor and played down any ill-feeling that may still exist.
“This is no grudge match,” the Boro chief added. “What happened with Steve was before my time and I personally have no issue with him at all. All I’m doing is concentrating on getting something from the game on Saturday.”
Like many of their rivals, Boro were inactive at the weekend after the visit of Bishop’s Stortford fell victim to the weather, but a fringe Boro XI were in action on Tuesday night when they progressed to the semi-final of the Russell Cotes Cup with a 4-2 victory at ambitious Wessex League side Sholing.
After going behind to a 13th-minute opener, Boro rallied with goals from Phil Page and youngster Lance Barlow putting them in front before Dan Bennett added a third ten minutes from time.
Sholing responded immediately to make it 3-2 but Page wrapped up victory for Boro with an injury-time clincher to set up an away semi-final tie at either AFC Portchester or AFC Totton.
Day surmised: “It was a good workout for us. It gave me the opportunity to look at a few young players and there were plenty of positives to take from the night.”
BORO (v Sholing): Scriven, Bowers (Sinclair-Smith 80), Treacher, Huggins, Inns, Francis, Bennett, Powell (Ackland 48), Page, Barlow, Atkin (Fearn 64).