May 26 2013 Latest news:
Michael Edwards, Sports Reporter
Friday, September 14, 2012
IN JUNE this year Stuart Wardley shocked Haverhill Rovers’ fans when he left the club to rejoin Saffron Walden.
His home town team had just confirmed their entry in the Thurlow Nunn Division One following a year away due to a financial dispute between the previous chairman and the local authority.
It was a team in its infancy but that didn’t matter to Wardley, he rejoined the Bloods for the fourth time – teaming up with Colin Wallington and Nicky Smith to usher in a new era at Catons Lane.
“I had to think about it when Colin, Nicky and the new committee at Saffron Walden came knocking,” he said.
“But, I am not getting any younger, and if I am brutally honest I have another one, maybe two years left and I saw the plans they committee had in place for the club – plus I’m a Walden boy.”
Wardley went with his gut, dropping down from the Thurlow Nunn Premier League to Division One and signed on as a player coach.
“I didn’t feel like I owed the club anything but Saffron Walden gave me my opportunity to play and they got me my move to QPR. I wanted to get them back to where they belong, back on the map.”
The 37-year-old has helped Walden to a six-game unbeaten streak this season, scoring three goals, and affirming the Bloods as contenders for promotion.
On Saturday the Bloods travel to the New Croft for an FA Cup clash – it will be the first time Walden’s number six has seen his old team mates since his departure in the summer.
“I enjoyed my time at Haverhill, it was a lovely club. Pete Betts [Haverhill’s manager] approached me when I was at Debden and asked if I would join. He gave me the chance to play at that level again.
“I thought the club was going in the right direction – it was exciting times while I was there.
“Pete was disappointed when I left but he was as good as gold. He saw me as a part of the changing room and a good part of the club, but he accepted it like a true gent.
“I am really excited to play them on Saturday, it should be a great game and have a great atmosphere – hopefully lots of people come down to see it.”