Magee retirement blow for Bloaters

Both Great Yarmouth’s games last week fell victim to the weather again, both the home game with Hadleigh on Saturday and the visit to Leiston on Tuesday were postponed due to waterlogged pitches, writes Gerry Brown.

Tomorrow, the Bloaters are due to entertain Brantham Athletic (Wellesley, 3) but with wet weather forecast supporters should pay attention to local radio announcements. On Tuesday, the Bloaters try again to get their League Cup second round tie with Kirkley & Pakefield played (Wellesley, 7.45).

The Reserves are due to face Gorleston Reserves at Emerald Park tomorrow (ko 3). The U18s are due to play at Wroxham on Thursday (7.45pm).

In other fixtures, the Sunday men’s team should face Hemsby (away) this weekend, the U11s are away to Kirkley & Pakefield (Walmer Road), the U14 play Gorleston Rangers A (Lynn Grove) and the U16 face Lowestoft Town in a cup fixture (Denes High School). All kos 10.30am. Great Yarmouth Ladies play Hethersett in the Norfolk Women’s Cup quarter-finals at the Wellesley 1.30pm Sunday.

In player news this week, manager Paul Tong has revealed that Jonny King has left the club, Kevin Howes has made himself unavailable and Martyn Magee has decided to retire from active football.

“Jonny has decided to return to Diss Town from where we got him, but we wish him well,” said Tong. “As for Howesy, after crying off a previous match I wanted him for, when I called him up for the Leiston game this week he texted me to say he couldn’t find the motivation to play. I told him that was a shame as I wanted him to start, but I told him that if he wasn’t going to turn up for Leiston he needn’t bother at all.”

The worst news came from first-team coach and player Magee who has been an inspiration to the team since joining in the summer of 2009.

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“Martyn said after recent events he has decided to step down from all football,” continued Tong. “He played a major part in our promotion year and has been a rock in games this time around. He will be greatly missed, especially for his experience and calming influence. Another factor in his decision, he said, was that he is soon to become a father for the first time, so we offer our congratulations to him and Rachel, and thank Martyn for all he has done for the team.”

There was some good news, however: “Adey Ager is looking to get back involved and has been given the all-clear to start kicking a ball,” said Tong. “He’s back in training and hopefully will be turning out for the reserves as he continues the recovery from his broken leg. And Johnny Miller is also back from his injury. He would have been involved last week though he was actually unavailable on Saturday.

“Recruiting new players is going to prove very difficult in the present circumstances so we shall have to draw on our available resources and see what we shall see,” Tong concluded. “I must say I am not surprised by these developments, but after all my years in football nothing surprises me anymore! But I’m not giving up yet – I’ve made my one stand and will do my best to see the job through.”