FOLLOWING THE RELEASE OF DALHOUSE
Ashford United have sent a strong message to their players about the expectations at Homelands.
The Nuts & Bolts released Andrew Dalhouse last week after claiming the striker wasn’t able to train properly because he was playing for another team.
Manager Jason Whitmore felt the benefit of Dalhouse’s goals earlier in the season but had no hesitation in showing him the door.
He said: “I like Andrew but we have a budget and we have to pay these players.
“We expect a commitment back and if you don’t want to give that commitment back, we don’t care who you are, Ashford United pay you a wage and we do expect you’ll be fit enough to play a game of football.
“Was Andrew Dalhouse still going to ask for his money on Saturday? Of course he was. Was he going to ask for less money? No. Could he train properly? No. Was he fit enough? No. That was wrong for us.
“When I took over, it was all about changing the environment at the club, that when players come in, they give 100% for Ashford.
“We want that commitment to be 100% – no grey area. We don’t care who you are, if you can’t commit to that, you don’t want to be here.”
Ashford look certain to stay in Bostik South for another season but Whitmore insists he’ll have no trouble motivating his players through their last 13 games.
He said: “That’s the easy part. We want to bring players in, ready for next season but at the same time, we haven’t got to rush doing that.
“We’re not going to go up or down so we’ll give the younger players a chance to get experience and see how much they can develop in these last 13 games.
“They might need to go out
‘We expect a commitment back’
on loan or they might be able to step up and be part of a team that can challenge next season.
“Do the players want to be part of this next season? If not, they won’t be here anyway. We won’t allow that so they’ve got to show us plenty.”
Ashford go to 10th-placed Hastings United on Saturday.
“It’s a winnable game for us,” Whitmore said. “Saturday (1-0 defeat to Corinthian Casuals) was a test but in the second half we more than matched them.”
Dalhouse has his say, page 41.