I will miss the place very much, says released Maidstone United captain Steven Watt
MAIDSTONE UNITED boss Jay Saunders says it was a tough job to release club captain Steven Watt today.
Watt, 30, joined the Stones from Dover Athletic in March 2013, following a month on loan and made 89 appearances for the club.
Maidstone United are currently sitting in fourth-place in the Vanarama National League South table on 29 points from 15 games, 10 points adrift of leaders Ebbsfleet United.
Watt began his career in the youth ranks of his home-town club Aberdeen before moving down south to sign for Chelsea, where he made his debut in a FA Cup tie against Scunthorpe United in January 2005.
He made his Premier League debut as an 89th minute substitute in a 1-1 draw at Newcastle United, playing alongside Frank Lampard and Joe Cole.
Watt has also played for Barnsley (loan), Swansea City, Inverness Caledonian Thistle (loan), Ross County, Grimsby Town, before signing for Dover Athletic in August 2011.
Watt was made Maidstone United’s club captain at the start of the 2013/14 season and lifted the Robert Dyas League Cup in 2014 and the Ryman Premier League title a year later.
Saunders told www.maidstoneunited.co.uk: “Watty has done a great job for the club and I felt the time was right to make some changes.
“I am looking to bring in a couple of players to freshen things up and that means having to let some go.
“Releasing players is a tough part of the job, especially in Watty’s case where he’s been club captain for a couple of seasons.
“Everything he’s done in that time has been fantastic. He’s been a terrific leader on and off the pitch and he can be proud of what he’s helped us to achieve.”
In other squad news, midfielder Mitchell Pinnock has been made available for transfer after finding first team opportunities limited since his arrival from Bromley over the summer.
Winger Pinnock has spent a couple of loan spells in the Ryman Premier League with Tonbridge Angels and Steve McKimm has previously said that he would be keen to sign him.
Watt used his Twitter account to break the news of his departure from Maidstone United.
“It has been an absolute pleasure playing for this club for the last two years,” the Aberdeen born central defender posted.
“Thanks to all the fans for their unbelievable support. You made me fall in love with the place as soon as I crossed the white line.
“I wish the club every success in the future and will miss the place very much.”
Goalkeeper Lee Worgan took to Twitter to pay tribute to his departing leader.
“They say all the best things come to an end, not many around like this guy, been one hell of a captain,” posted the 31-year-old.
Visit Maidstone United’s website: www.maidstoneunited.co.uk