Ryan Maxwell’s contract at AFC Sudbury has been torn up after an altercation with fans, but David Batch believes the club owes him a ‘thank-you’.
The Yellows’ boss said he left the matter entirely in the hands of the club’s executive board, but explained that — as far as on-the-pitch matters went —the fiery midfielder had left a positive mark behind.
“The football club told me he has left and that is it,” he said, following the club’s 3-1 cup win over Leiston on Tuesday, AFC’s third win on the spin following on from Saturday’s 2-0 league victory at Redbridge. “We have been playing quite well.
“He has had an impact because, from a football sense, I would like to thank him, he has helped bring (Craig) Pope, (Kris) Newby , Ayrton (Coley) and even (Lee) Flynn to the football club — so he has had an impact.”
The former Northern Ireland under-21 international, who took pre-season training sessions in a dual player and coach role, was again unavailable for comment when contacted this week, but will now be searching for his eighth club in the last five years, having previously stated he wanted to settle at Sudbury.
Club director Richard Instance, who sat on an panel for a hearing at the club, where Maxwell choose not to represent himself by travelling from his Chigwell base, described the words he exchanged with supporters during the Bury Town Robert Dyas Ryman League Cup match at the Wardale Williams Stadium on October 7 as ‘an unfortunate incident’.
Instance said: “He has not appealed the findings of an inquiry, therefore he has been released from his contract at the club. We expect certain standards from our players, which are clearly outlined.”
It is understood to be the first time an AFC player has had their contract terminated on disciplinary grounds since Lee Townrow was shown the door for allegedly stamping on a player during a game back in February 2011.
AFC turn their attentions back to the FA Trophy on Saturday when they will look to cause another upset against higher-league opponents, this time on Maidstone United’s artificial surface (3pm).
The club have previously said they wish to replicate the surface at their own stadium, and with debate currently raging about whether to host the FIFA Women’s World Cup on synthetic pitches, Instance revealed they have been working hard to follow in the footsteps of Saturday’s opponents, who this week announced a £300,000 profit from the two years they have had their 3G surface as a revenue stream.
“We have had an initial meeting with the players and we are working on it at the moment,” he said, not wishing to reveal any timescales they are working to just yet. “It is not something we are rushing into though, I think we first started talking about this four or five years ago.”
He added: “I personally think, after our meetings with the likes of Maidstone, Harlow and Sutton Coldfield, that this is the future for non-League clubs.
“We can’t accommodate all our youth teams here at the club, so we have youth teams playing in different villages around here.
“We would like to bring them all back here.
“Apart from anything, I think as a football club your biggest asset is your stadium and to go from a stadium we can play two games a week at to having a stadium you can play in and train in seven days a week is fantastic.” Batch himself went even stronger on his support for it.
“I think from League One down everyone should have one, but that is just using commonsense,” said the former Cambridge United player. “I think you do get better football matches, you get a better type of player coming through and it is better for the kids to play on as it is better quality football.
“I just find it unbelievable half the Football League chairmen voted against it and yet next week they will be in the paper complaining they don’t have enough money.”
Batch will hope to avenge their cup final defeat at Maidstone last season by knocking them out of the Trophy on Saturday, having described Saturday’s display at Redbridge as their best of the season so far.