Bury Town have been left without a club captain after Phil Weavers made a surprise exit from Ram Meadow to take a break from the game.
The 28-year-old told the Free Press a number of things outside of football, including work commitments, were requiring more of his attention and he felt he was no longer able to provide the commitment his role at the Blues deserved.
Weavers, who was announced as the club’s off-field captain prior to the start of the current campaign having been both on and off pitch skipper last season, said it was ‘the hardest decision’ he has had to make and has backed the team to get promoted without him.
The player, who rose through the club’s pathway from Team Bury skipper to Bury captain, to make more than 100 first-team appearances, having been playing village football for Barrow only six years ago, said: “I am very proud to have achieved what I have achieved and I am devastated to leave.
“It is something that has been on my mind for a while and I just feel that something has to give.”
But Weavers, who had lost his place in the starting line-up following an individual error as the Blues’ unbeaten league run came to an end in a 2-0 home defeat to AFC Hornchurch on September 20, is not ready to hang his boots up for good.
“I am not announcing my retirement from football,” he said. “I just need a break. Where I will be coming back, I do not know.”
The central defender, who runs his own business, took up a position as a retained firefighter towards the end of last season, but said that was not the main reason for his decision, and has backed the Blues to continue their flying start in his absence.
“I do not think me leaving will hinder the team’s chances of success at all and I fully expect them to get promoted with the squad they have,” he added.
Of Weavers’ decision ahead of being due back from a three-match suspension following a red card against Thurrock this weekend, when Bury host Aveley tomorrow, Chenery said: “He is a good lad, Phil, and it is disappointing but he has got this increase in work. It is a loss but football clubs lose players and have to move on and it allows us to look at other options.”