Nature of exit dampens three years of success

CUP WINNER: Mark Coulson holds the Isthmian League Cup with Bury chairman Russell Ward after netting a spectacular winning goal in the final
CUP WINNER: Mark Coulson holds the Isthmian League Cup with Bury chairman Russell Ward after netting a spectacular winning goal in the final
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Mark Coulson has admitted he was disappointed with the way his Bury Town career came to an end last week.

The scorer of the Blues’ stunning winning goal in the Isthmian League Cup final in 2012 rejected a non-contract offer from the Ram Meadow-based outfit and has now teamed up with fellow outgoing Bury player Evan Key at former club Biggleswade Town.

But after three years in west Suffolk — during which he was dubbed ‘Mr Consistency’ — Coulson felt he deserved more for his service, which included two seasons of being ever-present.

“They offered me to come back and prove myself,” said the 27-year-old. “That was something I didn’t feel I needed to do after the last three seasons.”

Coulson, who made a handful of professional appearances for Peterborough United, but dropped into non-League in 2007 and went on to play for Histon, Hemel Hempstead Town and Biggleswade before becoming Ben Coker’s successor on the left-hand side of Bury’s defence.

With Coker having starred in the Blues’ Southern League Division One Midlands title in 2009/10, Coulson was faced with a daunting task when he arrived in Suffolk.

“There was a fan who said I had some big boots to fill with regards to Ben Coker and I’d like to feel that I didn’t let anybody down and I lived up to the expectations I had of myself,” he said.

Coulson won a trophy in each of his three seasons at the Blues and it was his 30-yard screamer against East Thurrock United at Staines Town’s Wheatsheaf Park ground on March 28, 2012, that wrote his name into Bury folklore in the Isthmian League Cup final.

A Suffolk Premier Cup triumph either side — against Needham Market in 2011 and Lowestoft Town just last month — completed a hat-trick of silverware, while he was also given a special award at the Blues’ end-of-season presentation for playing every minute of the 2012/13 campaign.

However, the nature of his exit has slightly dampened all the success Coulson enjoyed at Bury.

“The three years at Bury have been great, but the way it ended was a little disappointing,” he said. “The offer they made me was a little bit disrespectful and that’s why I didn’t agree to it.”

Manager Richard Wilkins, who believes Coulson has signed a non-contract deal at Biggleswade, paid tribute to his outgoing left-back, but stuck by the club’s decision to offer non-contract terms to certain players after not being able to move as greatly to bring in reinforcements during an injury-hit two months that ultimately cost Bury their place in the Ryman Premier promotion play-offs.

“He was one of those on the field who didn’t get the praise that I felt he deserved,” said Wilkins.

“I wish him all the best because he’s a super lad, but we can’t afford to look too far behind us.

“If players feel they are worth more and need something more concrete I can understand that, but if it’s not on the table, it’s not on the table.”