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Story posted: Wednesday, 1st June 2005

Barrett goes to Town
Jamie Barrett

Jamie Barrett

Gresley Rovers have announced that midfielder Jamie Barrett has agreed to join Conference North newcomers Hednesford Town.
Barrett has been a long term target of the Pitmen and last season turned down the chance to join the then Southern League Premier club. The persistence of Hednesford manager Chris Brindley's has finally paid off after Barrett was finally persuaded to make the move. The 22-year-old has played over 150 games for Rovers including 56 appearances last term when he produced his best season at the Moat Ground of his 3-year spell.

Rovers' manager Gary Norton commented: "Obviously it's a huge disappointment to lose a player of Jamie's calibre from our playing staff but he feels that it's an opportunity too good to turn down. The package that Hednesford have offered him dwarfs anything we could have got near to but I think the main element of Jamie's decision hinged around the chance to make the step up and try to prove himself at Conference North level. Its very frustrating for us as he is the latest of several players to have left the club in recent seasons to make a big step up. From a managers point of view its difficult when your best players get snapped up by bigger clubs but, that's the nature of football at this level and we have to get on with it. He had a great season for us, his best in fact, and we were really hoping he would be around for next term but he's gone now and although its a blow to our plans for next season we were fortunate in depth in the midfield so this gives other people an opportunity to fill the void."

He added: "We have spoken regularly over the recent weeks so I know just what a difficult decision this has been for Jamie to leave Gresley and one that he has agonised over. He has always been very professional in every way and it's been a pleasure working with him and if things don't work out for him there, he would be very welcome back. Everyone connected with the club will be disappointed to see him go but like me I'm sure they will all wish him the best of luck in his new challenge at Hednesford."

Mark Evans Chairman said: "I am obviously disappointed - gutted to be honest, but cannot deny this is a great opportunity for Jamie to make a big step up in football - I do not think it has anything to do with money. This is the nature of things, people progress, and wish to try and achieve things at higher levels. I am confident though, that we can replace Jamie - we are very lucky to have existing depth in the squad within the midfield, plus any other additions Gary may wish to bring in. I have spoken to Jamie again today, he has had to make a very difficult decision - he has loved it at Gresley Rovers, he goes with my good wishes and hope for the future."
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League Position
  Team P GD Pts
1 Morpeth Town 11 17 26
2 Marske United 11 7 19
3 Brighouse Town 12 6 19
4 Gresley 12 -6 19
5 Ossett United 11 7 18
6 Pontefract Collieries 11 4 18
7 Lincoln United 12 3 18
8 Stamford AFC 11 5 17
9 Tadcaster Albion 11 2 16
10 Belper Town 11 -1 16
11 Frickley Athletic 10 -5 15

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