Ebbsfleet United boss Steve Brown explains why midfielder Stacy Long is going out on loan to Eastbourne Borough
Stacy Long in action against Havant & Waterlooville (Pic: Andy Payton)
Ebbsfleet boss Steve Brown has explained why midfielder Stacy Long hasn't featured more for his side this reason.
Long's limited involvement for the Fleet so far has puzzled some supporters and plenty were surprised to hear the 29-year-old was heading out on loan to Eastbourne Borough.
Brown said: "I have a squad of 18 to 20 players on any given week and there will be players, inevitably, across the season, that will not feature as much as they need to or want to. There’s nothing, as a manager, that I can do about that.
"The choice becomes the player’s. Does he stay here and fight and keep fighting even though, at times, he’s not on the bench, or does he actually think 'no, I’ll go and do a month’s work, I’ll get my fitness levels up and I can possibly come back and help with the run-in'.
"Stacy’s chosen to go on loan because he’s got to a point where he hasn’t featured for a while and he needs four or five 90 minutes under his belt."
Long is the third Fleet midfielder to be sent out on loan this season. Tom Phipp spent a month with Maidstone United at the end of last year and Dominic Green is currently with Tonbridge Angels.
Brown said: "I’ve got a lot of midfielders on my books. The squad’s a little bit unbalanced but that’s what we chose to do at the start of the season.
"If the fans ask about Stacy, surely they’ve got to ask about Tom Phipp. Tom’s not featured and Dominic Green hasn’t featured. It happens in football, it’s part of life.
"I’ve made some signings, they haven’t featured as much as they want and the supporters can ask from the sidelines, quite rightly, why they’re not playing.
"But the decision lies with me.
"I live and die by the decisions I make and what I do."
- Click here for more Gravesend news
- Click here for more news from across the county