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Haverhill Rovers sack leading scorer after stadium ban

Haverhill Rovers Ryan Weaver in action against Long Melford
Haverhill Rovers Ryan Weaver in action against Long Melford

Haverhill Rovers have sacked leading scorer Ryan Weaver after he was banned from their ground for breaches of discipline.

The 23-year-old striker has had his contract terminated by Rovers after receiving a sixth month ban from using the New Croft facility, which is the club’s home ground.

The decision to ban him was taken by the committee of the Haverhill Community Sports Association (HCSA) which manages the New Croft, following incidents at the ground last Saturday that they felt breached its code of conduct.

Having had their Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division match at Godmanchester Rovers postponed, Weaver and a number of the Rovers players instead spent the day at the New Croft, where Haverhill Borough were taking on Diss Town in a Thurlow Nunn First Division game. The incidents that led to Weaver’s ban took place in the bar.

HCSA facilities manager, Peter Betts, said: “There was behaviour that took place at the facility that was not in line with the facility’s code of conduct and that behaviour caused offence to partner members, the football club, members of staff and volunteers so as a result, that is why that one individual has been disciplined in line with HCSA code of conduct procedures.”

The ban will run until August 1, confirmed Mr Betts, who added that the door has been left for Weaver to return after the exile, should he wish to.

Rovers player-manager Michael Shinn is now left having to plug the gap left by the loss of Weaver, who joined Rovers in the summer from Haverhill Borough, where he had been top scorer and captain.

Weaver had played in 27 of Rovers’ 28 games in all competitions this season, all of them starts, scoring seven goals, six in the league.

Shinn said: “His improvement in the six months since he’s been with us has been great and his name is the first one down on the team sheet.

“It will be a huge loss, not only on Saturdays but to us as a group of players and what we have built at the club.

“I think, come Saturday the boys will give even more just to get a result for Ryan Weaver and his phone will be the first called by the boys come 4.45pm, without a shadow of a doubt.”

Rovers chairman Ali Shulver confirmed that Weaver’s contract was terminated as a result of the ban, adding: “To be a football player you need to be able to play football and if you are banned from the facility where you play your football there’s no way you can fulfil the terms of your contract.

“The HCSA statement is that he fell (Weaver) foul of the code of conduct of being an HCSA member and by default a member of Haverhill Rovers.”

Both Shulver and Shinn said they will support Weaver during his ban, which he can appeal, and would welcome him back once served.

Weaver was unavailable for comment.

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