Manager Joyce pays tribute to Bye as Bideford captain leaves for Helston
Bideford manager Sean Joyce has paid tribute to long-serving midfielder Matt Bye following his move to Helston Athletic.
The 30-year-old completed his shock switch to the Blues, who are managed by former Truro City boss Steve Massey, last week and made his debut in Saturday’s South West Peninsula League defeat at Saltash United.
Joyce says the loss of Bye is a huge blow for the club, but added that it was an opportunity too good to turn down for the player.
The Bideford boss also revealed Bye has received a number of offers from clubs in recent years but has always remained loyal to the Robins.
He said: “I’m disappointed he’s gone but Matt has been a fantastic friend and servant to the club for the last seven or eight years since I signed him from Ottery St Mary.
“He’s turned down a lot of offers to stay at the club, but this was one offer he couldn’t turn down. He will be a great addition for Helston and I’m sure he will give 100 per-cent for them.
“I don’t blame Matt for leaving, when there’s an offer like that. He has left the club on good terms and he will always be welcomed back.”
Bye started his career with hometown club Exeter City, and after three years at St James’ Park he joined Truro City. He then had a spell in Belgium with Royal Racing FC Montegnee, before returning to England to play for Tiverton Town for a year and Ottery St Mary before joining Bideford in 2010, where he played a major role in the Robins’ Southern League Division One title winning campaign in 2012.
Two years later he dropped down a division to play for Tiverton Town to reduce on travelling before returning to the Sports Ground in 2015, where he went on to captain the club. The midfielder made 293 appearances Bideford, scoring 13 goals.
After a five-match unbeaten run, Bideford have lost their last two games since Bye’s departure. On Saturday they were beaten 4-1 at Blackfield & Langley and on Tuesday evening they conceded another four goals in a 4-3 defeat at Bristol Manor Farm.
But Joyce says there is no need to panic, despite the recent deluge of conceded goals, and was full of praise for his side after Tuesday night’s defeat.
He said: “Individual mistakes have cost us in the last two games. If you make mistakes at this level you get punished. But there’s no need to panic, we’re playing well, and how we found ourselves 3-0 down at Bristol Manor Farm I will never know. We’ve just got to keep working hard and it will drop for us.”
Bideford host third-placed Moneyfields this weekend, and Joyce said: “There’s not much difference between the sides at the top. We will go again, be positive and give it everything we have got. We just have to cut out the silly mistakes.”
Antoni Sarcevic has been added to an already lengthy injury list
Matt Bye in the red of Bideford