Dickinson’s new deal leaves Blues unhappy

PUBLISHED: 12:49 23 December 2009 | UPDATED: 09:03 11 August 2010

BARKING coach Neil Day has hit out at unscrupulous rival managers following the shock departure of defender Alfie Dickinson.


BARKING coach Neil Day has hit out at 'unscrupulous' rival managers following the shock departure of defender Alfie Dickinson.

The Blues were not in action on Saturday following the postponement of their home game against Southend Manor, giving the first team a rare weekend off.

However, two people who had already played their last games for Barking were centre back Dickinson and midfielder Danny Hopkins, who have left to join Redbridge, from Ryman Division One North, and Stansted respectively.

Day, whose side go into Christmas sitting 14th in the Essex Senior League, says while they expect their players to be courted by other teams, the two cases provide perfect examples of how clubs should, and should not, go about their business.

"It was a surprise," admitted Day of Dickinson, who had made the most appearances for the club this season.

"He'd been training with Redbridge and we didn't know about it.

"There's a bit of a code of honour between clubs and we should have been told about it I think. There was no actual obligation for Redbridge to do that, but he'd been training with them for two weeks and then playing for us in between.

"He considers it a step up as they're in a higher league and we've always said we wouldn't stand in anyone's way if they want to move on, but there's a right and a wrong way to do it.

"For example, Danny Hopkins had played most of the season, but was dropped a couple of games ago and wasn't too happy about it.

"He trained with Stansted, but their manager did things the right way and called us to check if we'd release him."

Day added: "Personally I'm a bit disappointed with Alfie. I had him at Clapton as well and was instrumental in bringing him to Barking.

"Unfortunately the nature of this football is that the good players get picked off and you just hope they like it enough to stay. Realistically, when you're not getting paid, players will look around and we're far from unique in having that problem.

"There have been a number of approaches for our players, some from clubs within the Essex Senior League, and they're not doing it correctly.

"The right way is to go through the league and make a seven-day approach, but some of the more unscrupulous managers just ring the players directly.

"It's happened to three or four of our other players as well recently and while we can't stop them, we just hope they want to stay."

Barking are next in action on Boxing Day when they visit bottom club Mauritius Sports Association.

"They have a new manager who has come in and stabilised it and got them playing a bit more," said Day.

"People will expect us to go there and win, but we'll have to be at our best to get anything from the game."

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