‘I’d had enough’ - Ruthless Appleby insists he axed Wisbech Town trio for the good of the team

14:35 05 February 2013

Steve Appleby.

Steve Appleby.

Archant

RUTHLESS boss Steve Appleby has insisted that he had to axe three of his Wisbech Town stars for the good of the team.

Released

... Dubi Ogbonna:

“A colourful character but very individual.” The Nigerian hotshot signed from Soham Town Rangers in the summer. His prolific early-season form attracted the interest of numerous clubs but he twice turned down chances to leave. Higher-level clubs are thought to be bidding for his services.

... Rogan McGeorge:

“A quality player ... but didn’t work hard enough for the team.” The former Cambridge United youngster signed in the summer after spells with Mildenhall Town and Soham Town Rangers but struggled to nail down a starting place at Wisbech, with many of his appearances as a substitute.

McGeorge said: “I’m slightly confused as to why he signed me because it seemed like he had every intention of playing bigger, physical midfielders. I felt like it didn’t matter how I played, I’d still be on the bench.”

... Deakan Napier:

“Started well but failed to live up to early expectations and although, like Rogan, he’s a great player, unfortunately, it’s time for change.” Winger Napier impressed after signing in November. His former clubs include Histon and Needham Market.

The Fenmen chief launched a shock squad shake-up yesterday when he released Rogan McGeorge, Deakan Napier and top-scorer Dubi Ogbonna.

“If I’m being honest, I’d had enough of them,” said Appleby.

“They often wouldn’t come to training and it became apparent that they were three individuals who were out for themselves rather than the team.

“I let it go early doors because we were doing well, I swept it under the carpet a little bit.

“We’ve got a good set of lads and I’m not having that ruined. What if one of the other lads said he wasn’t coming to training? I can’t have one rule for them and not for the others.

“I can see I’m going to get some criticism but I don’t really care because I know deep down that this was the right thing to do for the club, the squad and the team.”

Appleby revealed he was chasing an “exciting striker” as a replacement for Ogbonna, who tops the Fenmen scoring charts with 11 goals in 18 Thurlow Nunn Premier Division games.

“I’m certainly looking to bring a couple of new faces in,” he said.

“I’ve got an iron in the fire which I think will come off. It’s quite exciting and I think the fans will be pleased.”

Appleby ruled out a move for former Wisbech striker Liam Nimmo and admitted that any deal with King’s Lynn Town winger Jamie Thurlbourne looked dead.

Ogbonna and Napier both scored on Saturday, as Wisbech crashed out of the FA Vase with a 4-2 fourth-round defeat to Gornal Athletic after extra time. Steven Reid was sent off in the first period of extra time after receiving a second yellow card.

Appleby said: “It’s not often that managers release quality players or their top-scorer but in this case it had to be done.

“We’re trying to push on and get promotion and we’re trying to do it in the right way. You can’t just buy your way to promotion, you’ve got to do it right.

“If that means a shake-up every now and then, so be it.”

Wisbech host Haverhill Rovers in the league on Saturday.

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