DEFENDER Marlon Broomes and striker Josh Hine have been shipped out of Shawbridge.
Clitheroe boss Carl Garner had the unenviable task of enforcing the decision after meeting with assistant Lee Sculpher and club executives in the aftermath of Saturday’s 2-0 loss to struggling Ossett Albion.
Broomes has moved to Altrincham, but was injured during the first half of his debut in their 4-1 Conference North win over Hinckley United as he pulled a hamstring.
And Garner was adamant that a deal would be agreed for Hine to join Skelmersdale United as the Clitheroe Advertiser went to print.
“We were so poor on Saturday that after the game myself and Lee met with a couple of representatives from the executive committee,” said Garner.
“The point of the discussion was to debate whether there was any merit in continuing to pay high wages to one or two individuals.
“We decided to let a few people go. Josh Hine was contracted, and earning decent wages for a club like Clitheroe, so we circulated him for transfer. And Marlon was a big earner. The magnifying glass fell on them because they were earning high wages.
“We’re not in any financial trouble, the decision was based on value. It was a financial decision that will hopefully benefit us in the short term and the long term. It was tough but it’s been a decision that was made for the right reasons.”
Garner felt the club had to cut its cloth accordingly in a bid to bring the next generation of players through the ranks – a group that has the hunger and desire to succeed in abundance.
He feels he has the personnel already at the club to step into the boots of Broomes, while he was confident of signing a striker to replace Hine before the weekend clash with Bamber Bridge.
“I’m working hard to bring a forward to the club,” said Garner. “I’m waiting for a few calls back, but I’m hoping to have someone here for Saturday’s game.
“In terms of defenders, there were a couple of young, promising central defenders whose paths in to the first team were being blocked.
“Jack Higgins and Josh Dale will now have the chance to prove themselves and cement their places in the team.”
Hine hit a purple patch at the end of September, scoring nine goals in as many games.
But the striker had struggled to make an impact of late and had only scored twice since that spell. His last came against his reported new employers Skelmersdale in a 2-2 draw at the end of November.
“It just wasn’t really happening for Josh,” said Garner.
“We wanted to look at other options. Paying over the odds for players really wasn’t benefiting us.
“We wanted to start afresh. The decisions haven’t been made lightly but now we move forward and I think Clitheroe Football Club will be fielding its youngest ever team against Bamber Bridge on Saturday.
Golden boy Ash Parillon squandered a penalty just before Dale Kelly opened the scoring for Albion in the 41st minute.
And a late Darol Lucas strike ensured the home side’s recent revival continued.
Garner said: “Saturday’s performance was totally inept and unacceptable. I don’t mind losing as long as you go down fighting. But there were players on that pitch who just weren’t putting in any effort.”
Shawbridge will stage Clitheroe’s next two First Division North fixtures, starting with Bamber Bridge.
Garner said: “Every game is a tough game. We’ve been dominating but struggling to score, and then made defensive errors to concede soft goals.
“Sometimes you have to make big decisions as a club no matter how difficult.
“That’s something I’ve done at Clitheroe for six years now.
“But both the departing lads go with the club’s best wishes.”