Departing David’s had a Ball at Fleetwood

David Ball
David Ball

David Ball issued a message of thanks to the fans and everyone involved at Fleetwood Town during his five-year stay as he prepares for the next chapter in his career.

Ball, 27, joined the club from Peterborough in 2012 and after 200-plus appearances, 49 goals, a plethora of different hairstyles, promotion from League Two and nearly from League One last term, the forward will leave Fleetwood on a high when his contract runs out at the end of the month.

The striker netted 14 times to help Town finish fourth last season and his 49 for the club include an abundance of memorable strikes, especially the one against Preston which was shortlisted for the world goal of the year award in 2015.

Ball issued a heartfelt goodbye on his Instagram account as he prepares for a new challenge – one hotly tipped to be with newly relegated Rotherham, who ironically visit Town on the opening day of the season.

Ball wrote: “Five unbelievable years at Fleetwood Town. Through ups and downs I feel proud to have made over 200 appearances for the club.

“I have met some fantastic people behind the scenes and players overs the years – none more than this year, taking the club to within three games of the Championship!

“Firstly I’d like to thank the fans who have been nothing but great to me since I walked into the club!

“I would like to thank the lads, the staff on match day, the training ground staff, the chairman Andy Pilley, who made the five years possible and will keep the club moving forward, a great manager Uwe Rosler and the staff.

“I have made some lifelong friends at the club and wish the club all the success in the future. On to my exciting new chapter!”

Ball is not the only one heading out of the automatic doors at Town’s Poolfoot Farm base this summer.

Right-back Conor McLaughlin and midfielder Jimmy Ryan have also had contract offers withdrawn by Town.

Centre-half Joe Davis’ Highbury stint also came to a close as he rejoined the club where he started his career: Port Vale.

Davis joined Town in October 2015, initially on loan from Premier League Leicester.

Steven Pressley made the move permanent the following January but the son of former Crewe boss Steve Davis managed only eight appearances under Uwe Rosler last season and negotiated a release from the final year of his contract to return to Vale Park.

Davis said: “I’ve been given an opportunity to play games. That wasn’t the case at Fleetwood last season. I’m in a period in my career now where games are important and I’m looking forward to getting started and hopefully to a good season for us all.”

Another Pressley signing, midfielder Ricardo Kip, is to spend a second season on loan with SC Cambuur in his native Holland.

Signed form Dutch club Almere City last summer, Kip made two substitute appearances for Rosler before joining Cambuur on a season-long loan.

Having helped them to finish third in the Dutch second tier, Cambuur have snapped up Kip again, though Town have the option to recall him in January.

Former Town striker Declan McManus has returned to his native Scotland with Dunfermline but Martyn Woolford, who was also released from Highbury at the end of last season, is yet to find a new club.