Home   Ashford   Sport   Article

Striker Danny Parish surprised to be released by Ashford United but looking forward to fresh start at Sittingbourne

Top scorer Danny Parish has spoken of his surprise at being released by Ashford.

The 10-goal striker was let go in a telephone conversation with manager Kevin Watson on Sunday morning.

Danny Parish in action against East Grinstead – his final appearance for the club. Picture: Ian Scammell.
Danny Parish in action against East Grinstead – his final appearance for the club. Picture: Ian Scammell.

It came as a shock to the forward who has since joined the Nuts & Bolts’ Isthmian South East rivals, Sittingbourne.

Ashford, beaten 1-0 at home by East Grinstead on Saturday, are in a poor run of form, with Watson looking to make changes.

“I think everyone’s surprised because my numbers, for how the team are doing, are good,” said Parish, 25.

“The call came out of the blue but that’s football.

“It’s been hard to enjoy it because of the form of the team - eight losses in 11 games - but I’m not a quitter so leaving hadn’t crossed my mind.

“But when I had that conversation I thought, is it the worst thing? Perhaps not.

“It was a bit of a shock but I didn’t dwell on it too much because I didn’t have to worry about options.

“I scored 10 goals and had seven assists in, I think, 20 starts.

“I know I’m an out-and-out striker but I’ve been playing behind the striker so I’m relatively pleased with those numbers.

“It’s not like I’ve been the highest player up the pitch all season.

Danny Parish has joined Sittingbourne following his release by Ashford. Picture: Ian Scammell.
Danny Parish has joined Sittingbourne following his release by Ashford. Picture: Ian Scammell.

“If that were the case, I’d have expected more goals.

“Kev said because of the run of the team he needs to change things and he said I wasn’t going to be the only change.

“It’s a weird one because you let go your player with the most goal contributions in the team, by quite a distance, but I’m sure there’s reasons behind it.

“I’m not dwelling on it because I’ve got a really good opportunity with Sittingbourne.”

There were no shortage of takers when news broke of Parish’s availability.

Former Ashford boss Tommy Warrilow, now in charge at Faversham, was among those interested.

The chance to play for Warrilow again appealed but, ultimately, he didn’t want to drop into Southern Counties East.

“I had quite a lot of interest, quite a few clubs from the league below,” said Parish, who scored 43 goals in 74 games across two spells at Ashford.

“Faversham was one of them and obviously I’ve got a really good relationship with Tom.

“I really liked playing under him and we had a few conversations but I didn’t want to drop a level and for it to seem like I’m about the money. I want to stay at this level and fight for promotion.

“I said to Tom I’m always wanting to play under you and it was literally just the level.”

Sittingbourne are fourth in Isthmian South East and while the title looks beyond them this season, they are a good bet for a play-off place under manager Ryan Maxwell.

Parish could make his debut at Herne Bay this weekend.

“I really liked what Ryan was saying to me, he said.

“He made it clear he had known me for quite a while and had seen me play and was a big fan.

“That always helps, knowing the manager hasn’t just seen your name pop up and thought, ‘oh yeah, we’ll take a punt on him’.

“He’s actually very aware of me, and everything he was saying, how they play, the chances they create, and their ambitions for the season, it all seemed promising.

“Also, I remember playing them and they had the grit and determination in the messy side of the game, which I believe Ashford has been missing, and I think that’s what it takes to get promoted from this league.

“As well as the quality and the technical side of it, you need the grit and the messy side of it, to be in a dogfight to get out of the league.

“I’m just glad to have everything sorted out.

“I said when I got the call on Sunday that whatever I do, I want to be playing or in somewhere by Tuesday.

“I want more goals and to play football.

“A week of not playing is a long time for me, so I wanted a quick turnaround and, luckily, I wasn’t short of options.”

Ashford’s game at Horndean on Tuesday night was postponed.

They visit Watson’s old club, unbeaten Cray Valley, this Saturday (3pm).

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More