Sutton United confirm player departures

Two of Sutton United’s players from the 2023–24 campaign have left the team, with one of them signing with a new team right away, the club announced on Twitter.

Craig Clay, the midfielder, and Louis John, the defender, are leaving the team. After signing for Leyton Orient in the summer of 2023, Clay departs the team. Before coming to the U’s, Clay played more than 200 games for Orient, helping the East London team advance from the National League and League Two. He only made 35 appearances for Sutton during their League Two relegation season, and he only scored one goal. His brief tenure there wasn’t as successful.

Because Louis John played for the team for nine years (during two different stints), his departure will be greatly felt by U’s supporters. John played for the South London team for 283 outings and was a vital component of several memorable seasons. John played for the teams who won the National League South championship in 2015–16 and advanced to the FA Cup 5th Round the following year. John signed an EFL contract with Cambridge after having another fantastic season with the U’s in 2017–18, but he didn’t make the same impression there as he did at Sutton, therefore he returned to the U’s in 2020.

The defender then created history by playing a significant role in Sutton’s first-ever promotion to the EFL team and by scoring a vital second goal in the 3-0 victory against Hartlepool that guaranteed the National League championship in 2021. The defender’s playing time was restricted last season due to a few recurrent injuries and the hiring of Steve Morrison as manager. As the team announced on Twitter, he signed a contract with Ebbsfleet United, a divisional opponent, tonight.

What will John bring to Ebbsfleet? 

A highly skilled defender with a winning mindset is joining the Fleet. As was previously said, John was a pillar of strength for several winning teams at Sutton, having participated in high-stakes games like the 2022 Papa John’s Final at Wembley and won the National South and National League crowns. The 30-year-old, who captained the Sutton team when Eastmond and Beautyman were out, is a tough defender who gives leadership skills to the Kent team. In his interview with Fleet TV, John described himself as:

“A leader who can assist the younger players in need and lead by example from the back”

Before their National League season, Ebbsfleet will have an experienced and reliable player on whom to construct their defence if John can remain healthy and injury-free.

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