TV star Mark Wright quits Heybridge Swifts having played twice
HEYBRIDGE Swifts have lost two first-team players and both have joined struggling Blue Square Bet South side Thurrock.
The Only Way is Essex television star and midfielder Mark Wright has left Scraley Road to team up with his brother Josh, already with the Ship Lane club.
The much-travelled striker Bertie Brayley has also left Swifts for the third time in his career and also joins Thurrock, for the second time where he played just five games for them in 2005.
It's Brayley's 18th club while Wright, 24, has had a stop-start football career having also played for Lewes, Crawley Town and the former Rushden & Diamonds club.
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Speaking about their departures Swifts' coach Barry Lakin said: "We wish Mark the best of luck because he wanted to play at a higher level.
"He found getting to training difficult because of his work and he wasn't getting paid by us and was playing for fun as he loves football.
"He's a really nice lad and we knew his circumstances from the start so we wish him well."
On Brayley's short stay at Scraley Road he said: "I gather he's gone to Thurrock, which I can understand because he wants to play at a higher level and is used to players at that level.
"Again we wish him well and we knew he would only be here for a short time anyway."
Of immediate concern for both Lakin and manager Mark Hawkes is to end their current slump in league form when they face fourth placed Enfield Town at home on Saturday.
"That's obviously our priority because we need to get back to winning ways in the league," he said.
Swifts though have five current first team players out injured - Russell Pond, Lee Kersey, Chris Bryan, Luke Callander and Jack West.
"We are really thin on the ground at the present but we have put seven days' notice in for a defender and hopefully he will be signed and available to play against Enfield," said Lakin.
"Saturday will be a tough game because Enfield are a good side, going well in fourth place but our players will be up for it and hopefully we can get a result and get ourselves back on track."
Next Tuesday Swifts go to Harlow Town for an Essex Senior Cup tie and Lakin and Hawkes want their team to win and get themselves into the next round.
"We just want to get back into the winning habit," he added.