GARRY Haylock has insisted he did everything he could to keep fans’ favourite Scott Fitzgerald, after the striker’s surprise switch to Wealdstone.
The 30-year-old became the highest profile casualty of Hayes & Yeading’s move towards full-time football at the weekend when he decided to make the step down to the Ryman Premier League club.
But Haylock insisted that it was an agonising decision to let the man go who almost single handedly dragged Hayes & Yeading up from the Ryman League in 2008/09.
"We had a long discussion about it and I would have loved to have kept Scott," Haylock said.
"He has done incredibly well for us and has been a magnificent servant for the club.
"When he came on in the play-off semi-final against Eastleigh, I have never seen someone work so hard. His goals got us promoted and, for that, the fans and I will always be grateful.
"I wanted him to stay, but with his work and the structure we are putting in place, it was just not possible.
"If he stays fit, then Wealdstone have got an absolute gem, but I am a bit disappointed for him that he has not gone to a higher-level club."
Fitzgerald, who works for a plumbing and heating firm in Ruislip Manor, admitted that his departure was purely for financial reasons.
"I have got a good job and while I would have loved to have stayed at Hayes & Yeading, the money was just not there," said Fitzgerald, who was the top scorer for Hayes last season with 11 goals.
"Unfortunately, things did not work out and I have moved on. At my age, I want to be playing regularly and I have got bills and a mortgage to pay.
"With the club going full-time, it would have meant me cutting my day job down to two or three days a week, which is not feasible."
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