Boss lauds departing defender

Josh Jirbandey is heading to California
Josh Jirbandey is heading to California

Hastings United player-manager Sean Ray couldn’t speak highly enough of departing defender Josh Jirbandey.

The former Peterborough United youngster scored in his farewell appearance for the club on Tuesday night before heading to the United States.

Ray said: “I think it was written. If anybody deserves to score in his last game it’s Josh. You won’t meet a nicer guy on or off the football pitch and I really hope he gets everything he wants over there.

“He’s been superb for this football club. The way he conducts himself and the respect he shows is out of the top drawer. He deserves everything he gets.”

Ray added that he won’t be looking to bring in a replacement for his regular centre-back partner. “I’m not going to look to bring anyone in,” he continued. “I think that would be disrespectful to Scott (Manning) and disrespectful to Jono (Richardson).

“The reason they’re at this football club is because they’re good enough. They’re both more than capable of stepping in at this level and they’ve got an opportunity now.”

Jirbandey, 21, has played 166 times for United and scored nine goals. He is about to begin a four-year football scholarship at Lassen College in north east California.