Man­ager Joyce pays trib­ute to Bye as Bide­ford cap­tain leaves for Hel­ston

Western Morning News (Saturday) - - Football Sport - BY LEE HALL

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.”

PPAUK

An­toni Sarce­vic has been added to an al­ready lengthy in­jury list

Matt Bye in the red of Bide­ford

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