“I wanted to send out a statement about a couple of player movements within the squad.

Reluctantly, Joe Hughes and I came to a mutual agreement for him to leave us last Friday evening. Joe is a fantastic player with a professional attitude and I am truly sad to lose him at this stage of the season, but we both agreed that first team opportunities were limited at this stage of the season. I know that Joe has had a few offers from our league already. I am sure you will agree that he has a tremendous amount of talent and once fully fit and he has his confidence high, he will be a valuable asset to any team in this division or any team in the divisions above.

In the past few weeks we also have mutually agreed the release of Tom Hill, who again was a valuable asset to the squad, but first team league game opportunities were limited with the quality of our full backs we currently have, so it was agreed to let him go.

Both players have left on very good terms and on behalf of the club I would like to thank them for their services and wish them the very best of luck in their future football career.

In terms of current squad, we welcome back Mark Bitmead from his injury, which took longer than expected to allow him to recover 100%, he was on the bench on Tuesday night against Chertsey but was not needed to be risked and will train in full tonight.

The only long term injury we have in the squad is Ryan Dearden, who has broken his hand and will be out for the foreseeable future.

I have today put in our first 7-day approaches of the season and will be able to update you on those next week. We currently have a fit playing squad of 18 players and for me it is important to boost that to 20 players during this middle part of the season. I am also going to be focussing very hard on our youth team in the next few weeks to see which players are ready to get involved in the senior set up. Currently 13 of our first team squad have played for our youth team at Ashford Town, a remarkable stat and show’s our intent to promote local young players.

I am very happy with our squad; we have quality in all areas and have many versatile players that can replica other players’ positions if needed.”

The draw for the next round of the Surrey Senior Cup was made this morning and Ashford will travel to Leatherhead, on a date to be determined.