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Browne hits out after 12 seasons with Terras

The defender, who has just been released after more than 12 seasons at the Wessex Stadium, says a string of broken pledges made by directors and managers over the years has left him feeling used.

He claims promises of a testimonial, increased wages and a coaching position have all failed to materialise.

But despite his anger, the ex-Dorchester and Salisbury man says he’s not bitter about being forced to leave the club he loves.

He explained: “I don’t want people to think I’m bitter because I’m not. I’m naturally disappointed to be leaving after such a long association but circumstances dictate.

“I am unable to go full time because of my job and it’s nice that manager Garry Hill has told me that had I been able to commit, then there would have been a contract on the table for me to sign.

“My departure is not a reflection of the manager’s faith in me as a player, but to do with personal circumstances. I appreciate and understand the direction in which the club is heading.

“The new management team of Hill, Kevin Hales and Gary Calder are top drawer and very professional, and I’m sure they will bring the success that is long overdue.

“It was enjoyable playing in the last six games of the season, and I am glad that I was able to say goodbye to the fans during our final game against St Albans from the pitch and not the bench or stand. However, this does not paper over the cracks of what has been the most horrendous season I have experienced in my 15 years of non-League football.

“In the main it’s been a pleasure and an honour to play for my hometown club, and I have been fortunate to meet some great players and characters along the way, as well as making some great friends.

“But there is a certain amount of bitterness and regret in some aspects of my departure as well. I consider that I have been loyal, honest and hardworking both on and off the field and feel that this loyalty has at times been used and abused by a succession of sub-standard managers and members of the board both past and present.

“I have had promises made, and then gone back on, on more than one occasion.”

He added: “These include taking a wage cut to help the club in its hour of need with the promise of redress in better financial times, which never happened, the promise of a coaching position that never materialised and the promise of a place in the team by a manager who never had any intention of using me, but kept me at the club because I was cheap.

“I have seen mine, and other long serving players’ money cut and used to bring in sub-standard replacements, I have stood by and watched other players given four and five figure pay-offs having only been at the club a few weeks while my request for a much smaller pay-off was flatly refused when I was being levered out last season.

“And to top it all, I was offered, then refused, and then offered again, a testimonial game which once again has never materialised.”

With more than 300 Terras first team appearances to his name, Browne feels that he should be recognised for his service and has called on club officials to do more for players who spend the bulk of their careers at the Wessex Stadium.

“I have been at the club for a long time,” he added. `A total of 12 seasons in two spells. I have played for the team with broken bones and other injuries, because of desperate circumstances at the time.

“I have represented the club at presentation evenings, referees’ forums, fans’ forums, safety and career talks at local schools. I’ve coached local club teams, school teams and disabled children, gone to funerals and many other functions, all of which I was glad to do.

“What’s sad is that I’ve received no real recognition for all this. Not even a letter of thanks or a cheap plastic trophy.

“I was looking around the club bar and boardroom recently. Despite 300 plus games, there is not one picture of me or most of my long serving team mates such as Ian Hutchinson.

“In a way I should not be surprised. Including myself, there are four members of my family that have played for the club, my grandfather Billy Durkin, my uncle Graham Durkin and my brother Alex. You would think that the club would be proud of three generations having played for them. Yet there is precious little to show it.

`Alex and I have played more than 850 first team games, over 200 plus reserve team games, plus countless youth team matches. That adds up to about 25 years service for Weymouth, not an inconsiderable time for players to commit themselves to a club. Yet there was not one testimonial game for either of us.”

Despite being disillusioned, Browne today wished the Terras well in their pursuit of a National Conference place next season, something he believes they are capable of achieving.

He said: “I love the club and would still represent them now in whatever capacity if asked to. I will follow their fortunes and I know that chairman Martyn Harrison wants success and with Garry Hill at the helm, I predict that he will get it, sooner rather than later.

“I just hope that any loyalty be it from players or staff is rightly recognised in the future.”

As for his own future, the Portland Red Triangle cricketer is waiting for the phone to ring.

“I feel I’ve got another couple of seasons to give at Nationwide South level,” he added, “and I’ll see what offers come my way. Maybe the phone won’t ring but if that’s the case, I’m not too proud to pick it up and make some calls myself.

“I know there has been talk linking me with both Dorchester and Portland but that’s all it has been. I am not, aware of any interest from either club and I certainly don’t want to tread on anyone’s toes.

“Long term my ambition is to manage but I’m not sure I’m ready for that at the moment. I’d like to carry on playing at the highest level possible for the time being and then see where we are in a couple of years.”

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