Blyth boss Steve Cuggy defends release of Robbie Dale

Robbie Dale
Dale made his debut for Spartans in 2005

Blyth Spartans manager Steve Cuggy has defended his decision to release striker Robbie Dale at a fans' forum.

The 27-year-old scored 96 goals in 291 appearances for Spartans but was released by the club last week having signed a new deal in June.

"We had 26 or 27 players and we made it clear to everybody that they started with a clean slate," Cuggy told fans who attended the forum on Thursday.

"I don't believe Robbie stepped up to the mark. I'll be perfectly honest."

Dale had signed a new deal with the Blue Square Bet North side in June but did not impress the new management team in training.

Assistant manager Gary Fell revealed that the club had offered extra training sessions to Dale, telling the striker that he only needed to give him a call.

Fell claimed he told Dale: "I'd quite happily come down every single day of the week if it's a case that we need to get you fit.

"I got a phone call once, so I thought 'OK, I'm not going to keep going on and on'."

The day after his release, Dale was inducted into the clubs hall of fame as a sign of appreciation for his service to Blyth.