Bury Town are facing the loss of two of their best players, with manager Ben Chenery admitting it’s ‘far from ideal’.
Defender Leon Ottley-Gooch has become embroiled in a tense notice of approach by Stowmarket Town and could, therefore, be on the cusp of a move.
The FA notice of approach rule states that a manager wishing to speak to a player about joining their team, when the player is already registered with another team, must give seven days’ formal written notice of their intention to speak to the player.
Once this has been done, the player can be spoken to. It is understood the seven-dayer was submitted on Saturday and, as the Free Press went to print, no deal had been done.
Ollie Canfer, meanwhile, has announced his injury-forced retirement from the game, effective immediately and will not play again for the Bostik North Division side.
Chenery said: “It doesn’t worry me, we have another 16 players and I can’t control any of that. With my best side, I would want those two in it, but they are not — it’s that simple.
“Ollie’s young to have to make the call to retire but he has quite a serious back injury.
“We thought it was on the mend but it’s come back. It’s very sad to see him go.
“And it would be a very big loss for us if Leon were to go. But I’m not going to waste time trying to convince players to stay that don’t want to. It’s not ideal but he wants to move on.
“Losing a player of Ottley-Gooch’s quality is a big thing obviously, but it is the way it is.
“We’re looking at players and we will see but it’s not easy finding a good match and a good replacement.”
Stowmarket’s Rick Andrews confirmed the club’s interest in the centre-back.
He said: “We are definitely interested in a player of that quality. The seven-dayer has gone in and we cannot speak to him until after that — that’s fine by us. It might not happen, but you have to aim to sign top players.”
On a brighter note for the club, Tevan Allen has made his return to Ram Meadow following his recent departure from AFC Sudbury.
After making more than 100 senior appearances for the Blues, the defender moved in February 2017. But, having played 28 times for AFC, Allen is now back in a Bury shirt.
The right-back was in the Bury starting line-up for Saturday’s home clash against Maldon & Tiptree, which ended in a 2-1 victory for the visitors.
Chenery said: “Tevan’s arrival has come at the right time. He’s hungry, and committed and fully fit so he will be a great addition to the side.
“We should have gone on to win at Maldon, we gave away a sloppy goal and I need a reaction from the players against Romford this week.”
Bury travel to face bottom-table side Romford on Saturday (3pm).