BUXTON FC has begun the arduous task of searching for a replacement striker to fill Mark Reed’s boots after the club’s all-time record goalscorer exited to join Evo-Stik Premier Division newcomers Chester FC.
Reed, who scored 191 goals in just over 300 appearances for the Bucks during his two spells at the Silverlands, decided on a move to Chester for family reasons.
Boss John Reed said: “I spoke to Mark on Saturday morning and he gave me the news we were all dreading, that he had done a deal with Chester.
“He only lives ten minutes from the ground, so it was an obvious decision, especially with his first child on the way. If Buxton had been ten minutes from his house, he would have been staying put.”
And paying tribute to the Silverlands legend, the manager said: “He is a fantastic lad and I have thoroughly enjoyed his company over the last four years.
“He is a complete gentleman and an amazing ambassador for football both on and off the field. We wish Mark well for the future and he will be sorely missed by the supporters and everyone at the club. His boots are going to be very difficult to fill.”
Buxton chairman Tony Tomlinson added: “Naturally, we are all very disappointed to lose Mark as he has been such an important and popular player here for so long, but we understand his reasons for moving.”
With the striker joining last season’s skipper Gregg Anderson and Josh Wilde on the departure list, manager John Reed’s search for new signings has received added impetus ahead of the start of pre-season training on June 28.
He has already spoken to no less than 43 different players – a mixture of youth and experience – but said negotiations in today’s tough marketplace were proving difficult.
And Reed revealed he had tried unsuccessfully to bring Paul Walker back to the Silverlands. The club was unable to match his financial terms, and in any event the player was unwilling to travel.
But there are encouraging signs that both Tommy Agus and Matt Heywood will line up for the Bucks next season, with a hint that the latter could be in line to take over the team captaincy.
l League Two Macclesfield Town are to visit the Silverlands for a pre-season friendly against Buxton on Saturday July 9 (kick-off 3pm), for the Keith Alexander Memorial Trophy.