Bury Town manager Richard Wilkins said it will be impossible to replace his ‘good mate’ Russell Short.
The popular player ended his five-year stay at the Blues following Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to Wealdstone, but had already made his mind up once Bury got to 46 points — a tally Wilkins believes will be enough to keep his side in the Ryman League Premier Division.
During his stay at Ram Meadow, Short won the Zamaretto League Division One Midlands title, two Suffolk Premier Cups and the Isthmian League Cup.
“He’s a smashing lad and it’s impossible to replace someone like Russell Short,” said Wilkins. “He’s a good mate as well and I know it was a difficult decision for him to make, but he’s had to go with his head, not his heart.”
Speaking to the Free Press this morning, Short confirmed travelling from his Milton Keynes home — a 150-mile round trip — had become too much for him after Shane Tolley, David Bridges and Ryan Semple, who he travelled with, left the club.
“It’s not how I wanted to leave — it’s just the way it is and there’s nothing that could be done,” said Short. “Considering the circumstances, we’ve had a great run and that’s made it even more difficult to leave because all the boys have come together with Wilks (Bury Town boss Richard Wilkins) and Chenners (assistant manager Ben Chenery).”
The former Ipswich Town trainee also thanked fans for their comments after being inundated with messages on Twitter.
“The response has been great from all the fans and it just shows there are great people around the club and I can’t see any reason why things won’t turn around,” said Short. “I just hope it’s sooner rather than later.”
There is a fans’ forum at Ram Meadow tonight (7pm).
Full Russell Short interview and more reaction to his departure in Friday’s Free Press.