Worthing Football Club joint manager Gary Elphick says he is gutted Rikki Banks has left the club.
Goalkeeper Banks has left Woodside Road owing to personal reasons and Jack Fagan, who made his 100th appearance for the club in the 3-1 win at Kingstonian, will now take over as number one.
Banks was dropped for that match and Elphick said: “Rikki said he wasn’t enjoying his football so much this year and Jon (Meeney; joint manager) and I don’t want anyone to play for us if they’re not enjoying themselves.
“I think Rikki just needs a bit of a break but I’m gutted to see him go. As well as a top goalkeeper, he’s one of my best mates and what he’s done for the club can’t be under-estimated.
“He played a massive part in our promotion last season and he’s also brought Jack on. Jack will have learned a lot from Rikki, on and off the pitch.
“You don’t like to see anyone go but, like Steve Metcalf, Rikki goes with our blessing.”
Elphick is now looking forward to seeing how Fagan progresses and said: “Jack will come into the team and take to it like a duck to water.
“He’s got the opportunity to come in and prove he’s a good enough goalkeeper for this level and I’m sure he’ll do that as he’s a fans’ favourite here.
“We were very lucky to have two very good goalkeepers here as a lot of teams at this level operate with just one goalkeeper. We’re not going to panic and look to bring anyone else in now as you’ve always got the opportunity to go to a pro club and get a young keeper in on an emergency loan if you need to.”
On if Banks leaving opens up space in the budget to bring any new players in, Elphick said: “Our priority is more on keeping hold of our young players.
“It’s in the club’s interest to look after them and the first thing we’ll do is look to tie them down.”
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