Left-Back, James Crane has announced his departure from Woodside Road as he goes in search of regular first team football.
Despite accumulating almost fifty appearances last term, the depth of talent in the backline, now featuring the likes of Alfie Young, Joel Colbran, Danny Barker and Jalen Jones, means that Manager, Adam Hinshelwood can no longer guarantee game time for the twenty-nine year old.
After only making the move last Summer, albeit from bitter rivals Bognor Regis Town, fans never held that against him as he cemented his place in the side – with his pace and crossing ability giving many an opposition headaches.
A career commencing in the then Sussex County League with Arundel lead to a decade of service at The Rocks, that saw Crane named Captain at just eighteen years of age. He also represented England Colleges while based at Nyewood Lane but headed further afield to turn out for the likes of Hearts, Reading and Cypriot duo, Famagusta and AEK Larnaca, too.
No stranger to the other end of the pitch either, he’s bagged more than sixty goals so far; a tally that included six last campaign for The Men of Woodside Road. His most memorable coming in the wind and rain at Chelmsford, as we caused an FA Cup upset thanks largely to two identical finishes from someone who, theoretically, should be keeping them out more then knocking them in (!)
That Man of The Match performance followed on from his strike in the previous round at our old Play-Off adversaries, Faversham Town.
One of only four players to start at least thirty league games for the club in 2018-19 and a virtual ever-present in cup competitions, Craney showed typical calmness under immense pressure,
when firing home the spot-kick that ignited our March comeback at The Nye Camp. His maiden return as an opposing player, much to the chagrin of those in green and white that day !
Hinshelwood said: “I had a discussion with him about the game time he might get next season.”
“He decided on pursuing something different that would give him more game time.”
“James said in three or four years time he might be looking to cut down on his game time.”
“But he’s not quite ready to do that just yet.”
“I’d see him more as a squad player for the upcoming season.”
“The way the club is going, we’ve got some good younger players I see a more of a future for them.”
“Joel (Colbran), Alfie (Young), Danny (Barker) and Jalen (Jones) all play in a similar position and are around 20.”
“James is 28, so I saw those having a more of a future at the club.”
Hinshelwood thanked Crane for his efforts during his sole season at the club.
And wished him well as he looks for a new club.