Due to a work-based promotion and to an increase in his workload, as part of the goalkeeping coaching structure at Chelsea Football Club, Boreham Wood’s goalkeeper James Russell has reluctantly informed manager Luke Garrard and chairman Danny Hunter, that he cannot continue to play his football at Vanarama National League level and will be leaving Meadow Park this summer.
The club and player have not been able to find a way around this dilemma and as such the club have reluctantly agreed to circulate Russell’s details to all clubs within the National South.
Manager Luke Garrard said: “We obviously expect a lot of interest in our talented keeper and we will help James in every way we can to find the right club, that best suits Rusty’s day time coaching job.
“Losing James is an obvious blow to me after his sixteen clean sheets last season. He’s also been outstanding over the last three or four seasons. He’s been loyal, honest and he’s just a great guy to work with. However, the bottom line is his job at Chelsea has changed, it is a very good change for James’ career and it was just too good to turn down.
“Rusty has been a great servant to the club. He’s played in so many of our big cup games, he’s won the play-offs with us, he was massive in keeping us up this season and he leave’s here with everyone’s best wishes I’m sure.”
Garrard concluded by saying: “We have though agreed with James, that he will play his last game for us against Brentford in pre-season, on Friday, 8th July, to say his goodbyes properly and we would expect our supporters to turn out and It will be the perfect way for Rusty to say goodbye to staff, teammates and supporters.”
Russell said: “I’m just very grateful to the chairman, to Ian Allinson, to Luke and Mario Noto for bringing me to the club and for giving me a chance to progress four years ago. They were willing to take a chance on a smaller goalkeeper and they have always stuck with me when things haven’t always gone well.
“The club has helped me to improve as a player and have helped me to grow as a person. I am so proud to have been a part of the club`s progression and Boreham Wood are now a National League club on merit. I’m so grateful to be leaving on a high after helping us to secure the clubs National League status for another season and for everyones understanding regarding my day job.
“I would also like to wish the club and of course the Wood Army, all the best going forward and to thank every supporter for their encouragement over the years and of course for voting me their player of the year last season. It meant so much and I look forward to being able to say goodbye properly at the Brentford game and to coming back when possible to watch a game or two”.