Boss Steve Lovell has wished midfielder Jacob Gilbert well as he leaves Herne Bay - for a new life in Dubai.
Gilbert last played for Bay in their New Year’s Day derby 2-2 home draw with Ashford as he then headed for the United Arab Emirates for training with his work.
He had been scheduled to return to the UK but now has been offered a full-time job abroad and has even found a football club to play for.
Lovell said: “Jacob rang me on Monday.
“Unfortunately, he has got a job in Dubai. It’s not unfortunate for him.
“He has been out there for three weeks and had to do some training. They have offered him a job and, not only that, he has got a football team out there.
“I’m pleased for him because he’s a good lad. But we will miss him. It’s a hard decision between Herne Bay and Dubai – there’s not much in it!
“We’re sad he isn’t going to be with us – but I’m pleased he’s going out there.”
Bromley defender Sam German’s immediate future also lies away from Winch’s Field. German, initially brought in by Herne Bay on loan in September, has now joined Isthmian Premier Kingstonian on an initial one-month loan.
Lovell hasn’t given up hopes the teenager could play for Bay again before the end of the campaign, though.
“Sam has gone out on loan to Kingstonian,” explained Lovell. “They have him for a month.
“Bromley wanted him to play in a higher league and that’s quite within their rights. We will see how it goes but, hopefully, there’s a chance to get him back for the last couple of months of the season.
“But Dan Carrington has taken his place and played very well.”
Prolific striker Michael Salako’s latest brace earned Herne Bay a 2-0 victory at struggling Phoenix last weekend, with a fourth straight Isthmian South East success taking them back into the play-off places.
Lovell, who has welcomed forward Jack Richards back to training this week after a long-term injury, reflected: “It was a good win.
“It was a different kind of win and a different kind of game. The referee passed the pitch playable, which was right.
“They (Phoenix) worked hard, put people behind the ball and made it difficult for us. But we got through it and it was a good, battling team performance.
“We could have had a couple more - but their keeper made a couple of good saves. I would have taken that all day long, going there.
“It was nice to get the win and the clean sheet.”
Salako is on 17 goals this season, behind Ramsgate’s 25-goal divisional top scorer Joe Taylor.
“His first one was a typical Mike goal - a poacher’s goal,” noted Lovell. “The second one, he took it really well, rounding the keeper and slotting it in.
“He’s always in the right place at the right time. He gets poacher’s goals and you cannot teach that - some players have got that instinct and he has.
“Him and Kane (Rowland) really work hard defensively, as well, so they earn their goals.
“Kane got two at Chichester last Tuesday and Mike got two on Saturday.”
Young defender Finlay Whitton started for Bay at Phoenix Sports and Lovell enthused: “He did very well.
“He has been playing for Hollands & Blair, dual-registered with them. We sent him out to play games. Theo Osinfolarin wasn’t available on Saturday and Ponty (Harrison Pont) is still coming back from injury.
“Finlay did well. He will be a good player for us. I went with a different formation, playing Finlay at right-back.”
There’s a tough spell in store for Bay, which starts at home to fourth-place Sittingbourne on Saturday before another derby at Hythe on Tuesday.
Lovell has been impressed with the work Brickies manager Ryan Maxwell has done since he took over at Woodstock last January.
He said: “He has done a really good job. They’re a hard team to beat. They’re having a good season.
“It’s going to be a tough game for us - we know that. Both teams are in form, so I think it will be a good game.
“You want local derbies where it’s close and both teams are fighting for something. We’re fighting to stick in the play-offs ourselves.
“We will have to be at our best.”
The Brickies could hand a debut to Danny Parish at Winch’s Field after the striker was surprisingly released by Ashford last weekend.