The club this evening parted company with long-serving veterans Nemanja Jankovic and Andy Harte, along with Academy graduate Duncan Stanfield for what has been described as ‘nominal fees’. Nemanja heads off to Italy, and Serie VIII side CEP 1953, Andy has joined Polish VIII Liga side Fc’Sosnowiec, while Duncan will be plying his trade with DIABLOS ROJOS 77 in the Argentinian VI División

During his eighteen seasons at New Home Park Nemanja made a record total of two-hundred and thirty-seven competitive appearances, scoring fifty-seven goals in the process; in his twelve seasons at the club Andy played in one hundred and fifty-five competitive games, netting on twenty-nine occasions; and Duncan played ten times, scoring once in his two seasons following promotion from the Academy.

“It’s never an easy decision to move players on and it was especially hard with these guys”, admitted Leoš as the news broke. “I’ve watched Duncan progress through the Academy, and as for the ‘old-timers’, well they’re part of the furniture here!”

“Nemanja and Andy have both been here for a long time, a very long time”, he added. Actually,” he continued, “it’s a standing joke with Nemanja that he was going into his testimonial season when I arrived! It’s going to seem really strange without them around”.

“Although Duncan hasn’t been in the senior squad for long, he’s a product of our Academy. He’s a good lad, and with the right coaching in Argentina, he’ll go on to do well in the game”, said the coach.

Before they left for pastures new, each of the players spoke to the website.

First up was Nemanja Jankovic who said, “Firstly, I’d like to thank the fans and everyone who has made my family so welcome during our time here. I couldn’t believe it was eighteen seasons, the time has passed so quickly. Next up, I’d like to thank Brook Street Athletic Football Club for giving me so many great memories, along with a few medals!!! Finally, I’d like to pay tribute to my good friend, ‘the Gaffer’. He’ll no doubt take some stick from some who will not take our departures well, but he has everyone’s best interests at heart”.

He continued, “What no-one outwith the club knows is that I’ve been struggling since my injury and just can’t keep up with the likes of young Alex Clapperton; the heart’s there but the body isn’t. We all knew that my playing time here was coming to an end, and Leoš along with the Directors offered me a non-playing position within the club, ‘upstairs’ if you like. While I was genuinely flattered by the offer, I want to keep playing as long as I can, so I had to turn it down. They all understood my reasons though, and helped me achieve this new start for which I’ll be eternally grateful”.

Speaking of moving to Italy, he said, “I’m glad it’s a club from Abruzzo. It’s a beautiful part of the country, but it’s also really close to my family in Serbia! Seriously though, I’m looking forward to the new challenge and I’m sure it’s one I will rise to”.

He finished by saying, “I’m really sad to be leaving, but I will always remember my time at Brook Street as the best of my life.

Next up was Andy Harte who said, “I probably should have moved a season or so ago, but was easily persuaded to stay by Leoš. To be honest, I didn’t have to think twice; this is such a good club and it’s really well run. Ok, they perhaps underachieve, but it’s steady as she goes and we always get paid, which is more than can be said of some clubs”.

He cuntinued, “It’s probably been said a million times before, and it’s a real cliché, sorry, but Brook Street Athletic is a real family club. When players like me, Nemanja or Leoš arrive, we stay for a long time. That speaks volumes”.

He concluded by saying, “I would like to wish everyone connected with the club all the very best for the future, and I’ll be looking out for your results!”

Last, but not least was Duncan Stanfield who said, “I’m disappointed to be leaving the club as I thought I could do something with the senior team, but I can understand the reasoning why”.

“I’ve got an unbelievable opportunity in South America and to be honest, it hasn’t sunk in yet. It’s kind of like, ‘Wow! You’re going to be playing football in Argentina!’ I keep having to pinch myself”.

On his time at Brook Street he said, “It’s been a great experience, progressing from the Academy setup into the senior squad. I’d particularly like to thank Jeff Duilach for giving me a kick up the backside when I needed it. Ultimately, without him I wouldn’t be heading to Argentina!

“In addition, I’d also like to thank Nemanja for all his advice and Fraser Carragher for teaching me my first Spanish phrase: ‘Dos cervezas por favor’. I don’t know what it means, but I guess I’ll find out soon!

Everyone at the club wishes Nemanja, Andy and Duncan the best of luck with their respective new clubs.

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