Leaving Tonbridge Angels was my hardest decision of my career, says midfielder Craig Stone
TONBRIDGE ANGELS have lost the services of versatile central midfielder Craig Stone.
The 30-year-old has decided to leave Longmead Stadium as the club prepares for life in the Vanarama National League South for the first time in five years.
Manager Steve McKimm guided the club in to the second tier of English non-league football after finishing in fourth-place in the Bostik Premier Division and beating Haringey Borough (2-1), Merstham (2-0) and Metropolitan Police (3-2) in the play-offs.
“It’s been an absolute pleasure these last two years and last season was the best season of my career for various reasons,” Stone said on Twitter.
“I love everyone at the club and it was my hardest decision of my career but I will be back supporting.
“I can’t personally thank Steve McKimm and (assistant manager) Barry Moore enough for signing me in the first place and for creating what is the best environment at a football club that I have been involved in.
“Success was always on the cards and will continue to be.”
McKimm added: “It was a real pleasure to work with Craig Stone for the last couple of seasons, topping it off with another promotion for him.
“The club that Craig decides to join next will be adding a terrific player and person.”
A club statement said: “Craig Stone has decided to pursue opportunities within the game elsewhere and has left the club.
“Craig made a significant contribution to the successful promotion effort when he returned from his loan spell at Grays Athletic, not least his vital goal against Carshalton Athletic.
“We wish Craig every success in the future.”
The Angels have retained the services of D’Sean Theobalds and Joe Turner and they have also unveiled the signing of former St Albans City winger Khale Da Costa, 25.
Da Costa started 25 games for their new National League South opponents last season, scoring five goals and providing nine assists.
McKimm told www.tonbridgeangels.co.uk: “Khale will bring us pace out side and it’s been proved time and time again defenders don’t like pace.”
Visit Tonbridge Angels’ website: www.tonbridgeangels.co.uk