STAGS TARGET CONAL PLATT TO JOIN CAMBRIDGE
Duo leave with heavy-hearts
Wednesday 16th June 2010
Exclusive By Ashley Loveridge »
CONAL PLATT and Jonathan Smith admit their pending moves to Cambridge United and York City have been made with heavy-hearts.
Platt, 23, was set to pen a two-year deal with Cambridge yesterday (Tuesday) while Smith, also 23, is set to complete his move to York City on a two-year contract on Thursday.
Platt admitted he did a lot of soul-searching before deciding to move on.
Platt said: "I was looking to stay on and the reprieve from relegation made my decision difficult, but no disrespect to Forest Green, Cambridge are a big club and the money and offer of a two-year deal was just too good to turn down."
Boss Dave Hockaday tried to convince the former Liverpool winger, who joined Rovers from Weymouth in 2008 to stay, but the long commute from his Preston home was a significant factor in his decision.
"The gaffer spoke to me on the phone for 45 minutes and tried to talk me into staying, " added Platt.
"I like him and he gave me a lot of confidence and I like to think I played well under him and before with Jim Harvey."
Platt leaves the New Lawn with many fond memories and is hoping for a warm reception when he returns with his new club next season.
"I had a great time at Forest Green and I would like to thank the fans, staff and director Mike Bullingham."
Conal Platt has been linked with a move to Cambridge United.
United are understood to be one of several Blue Square Bet Premier clubs in the running for the Forest Green winger as are Mansfield, York and Wrexham.
Platt, 23, has been offered a new deal by reprieved Rovers, who avoided relegation from the Conference's top-flight after the failure of Salisbury's appeal against demotion last week.
It would mean a compensation fee would have to be paid for the former Republic of Ireland under-19 international, who came through the youth ranks at Liverpool, as he is under 24.
But manager Martin Ling would not comment when asked if Platt, who has also had spells with Bournemouth and Weymouth, was heading for the R Costings Abbey.
Ling said: "I imagine there's been speculation because we're after a wide left player.
"We certainly hope to get at least one player in this week and maybe one or two more in the early part of next week.
"We're progressing well with the main forward I'm after, but he's under contract to another club, so I can't mention names.
"I'm also meeting a couple of midfield players today who have both finished with their League clubs."
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