Attacking midfielder Joe Gardner left the Beachboys over the Christmas and New Year period and we spoke with Joe to discuss his reasons for this decision.
Joe, you must have agonised long and hard over this decision…I bet it wasn’t an easy one to make?
It’s a decision I had to make over a number of weeks. I’ve been at the club for a number of years over two spells, I’ve won a couple of trophies and played in the 1st round of the F.A. Cup – so I have nothing but fond memories to take with me. The decision I’ve taken means that I leave with all those positive experiences of my time at Concord – and nothing negative. The club has a special bond with everyone associated with it, from the Chairman, playing staff, behind the scenes staff and the fans…so to leave was never going to easy.
Would you say that you’ve just lost the passion for the game?
I wouldn’t say that, as I spent my first Saturday away from Concord watching my brother play! I think I’ve always been clear that I would like to play at the highest level I can, and I still have that drive and ambition to do that. But short term, I’ve lost my appetite for playing at the moment and I hope that a temporary break from the game will re-ignite my hunger to play and eventually continue with my progression to play at the highest level I can.
What was your own personal highlight at your time at the club in this latest spell?
Well as I’ve said earlier, I’ve got so many positive experiences at this club. The standout has to be my volleyed winner in the 1-0 win against St Albans in the 4th Qualifying round of the F.A. Cup in the 2014/2015 season. It was my best goal for Concord and probably the most important. This highlight is followed very closely by last year’s 5-0 win in the Essex Senior Cup Final where I scored twice and assisted another.
Also I’d like to take this opportunity to thank all the individuals who work so hard to make Concord a unique and enjoyable place to play football.
I’d like to thank Ant (Chairman), Alan, Andy and Chris for their work on the program, game recording and website, Jayne and all the other bar/kitchen/clubhouse staff who made sure we are all looked after plus Gary Ewers and Miki Hood who have both been at the club as long as I can remember and who, if nothing else, ensured everyone was always having a laugh!
We also spoke with Adam Flanagan who had these words to say about Joe’s departure
“Joe has had a lot of success at this club and it’s very disappointing to see him go. Joe has played a lot of games this season, and he hasn’t quite reached the level I’m sure he was aiming for. It’s very brave and honest decision from him to say he wants a break and I certainly hope to see him playing football again soon.”
Joe and Adam were speaking to Chris Clark.