Steve Davis says club's former captain doesn't owe us anything after ending 16 year association
Steve Davis believes that his former captain Matt Tootle didn’t owe the club anything after 16 years of sterling service. Tootle recently joined League One new boys Shrewsbury Town after rejecting the club’s offer of a new deal and Davis appreciates that the 24-year-old felt he needed a new challenge after a disappointing final season. Tootle suffered with a bad ankle injury and didn’t feature after October, although he was fit to take his place on the bench for the trip to Peterborough United during the run-in.
Steve explained to crewealex.net: “We left the decision with Matt. We met with him and made him offer but he felt it was the time to go and we have to respect that. He has been with the club for 16 years and that is very rare in the game now. He made a massive commitment to the club over that time and was a great servant.
“I always got on with Matt and he was my captain. It was disappointing to lose him but that’s football and him going means the opportunity is there for others. Some will be closer to the first team now because of it.
“Players go on different career paths and we always thought Matt had the ability to go higher. We thought we would go to a club challenging for promotion or a Championship but it hasn’t happened like that. He is still only 24 and could well do that.
“He doesn’t owe us anything and we knew he would go out of contract and be over the age of 24. In all honesty we planned it so he would go last summer and I think Matt thought that was going to happen for him as well.
“He was our player of the year after a terrific season and we thought there would be clubs interested in taking him but we didn’t get an offer. That surprised us and then we had to sit down and discuss his career again. He did the extra year and had the injuries and that can happen.
“It was a frustrating season for him and he felt he needed a fresh challenge and he goes with our best wishes.”