Fans favourite speaks about Clarence Park departure
LEE Clarke admits it will be strange reporting for pre-season training with another club after his contract with St Albans City was terminated by mutual consent. Clarke, who had been at Clarence Park for five years, was a fans favourite after captaining t
LEE Clarke admits it will be strange reporting for pre-season training with another club after his contract with St Albans City was terminated by mutual consent.
Clarke, who had been at Clarence Park for five years, was a fans favourite after captaining the side during their promotion to the Conference National but the 25-year old has struggled with injury this season and believes the deal is in both parties interests.
"I just think with the way that things have gone this season with my injury that it was in both parties' interests," said Clarke, speaking for the first time since the news broke. "I've only been fit for 17 or 18 games and even then I was only half fit but maybe I need a fresh start and it helps the club free up a bit of money."
The former Northern Ireland U21 international told The Herts Advertiser that he never saw himself leaving Clarence Park and thinks it'll be strange if he has to come back to the club as a visitor.
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"It's been just over five years and I never saw myself leaving the club. I've been really happy, even through relegations and bad performances. It'll feel strange and it'll be even stranger if I have to come back here and play but people move on in football."
When asked what was the highlight during his time at Clarence Park, Clarke doesn't hesitate in saying the promotion to the Conference National.
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"The season we got promoted we got promoted was great," said Clarke. "If you ask any of the fans they will say that was the highlight during my time at the club. The free flowing football we were playing, everything was buzzing. It was great to be involved and help get the club into the Conference we're they'd never been before. The proudest moment of my career alongside international honours was captaining the team to somewhere they'd never been."
The former Peterborough man is still waiting to undergo an operation to clean out his knee and he is hoping to be fit ready to start pre-season training.
"That's still a couple of weeks away. It gives me a good couple of months until pre-season to get fit and then I'll have pre-season wherever that may be."
Clarke has this parting message for the City faithful: "I'd like to place on record my thanks to everyone at the club from inside and out. The way they took to me was great and I like to think I behaved in the right way. I've made some real good friends and I hope it's not the end.