Bond is ready to fight to keep Heybridge Swifts' squad intact

HEYBRIDGE Swifts director of football Wayne Bond has vowed to fight “tooth and nail” to keep the club’s first-team squad together.

It’s all change at Scraley Road as previous manager Mark Hawkes and assistant Steve Smith recently quit for Chelmsford City.

They have already snapped up goal king Luke Callander and Bond says the Clarets have also made contact with four more Swifts players.

In addition, Needham Market have tabled a seven-day approach for Russell Malton.

However, Bond, who has taken over the managerial reins on a temporary basis until the position is filled permanently, is determined to keep his high-flying squad together and says he won’t allow it to be dismantled.

“We’ll fight tooth and nail to make sure that doesn’t happen,” he said.

“We’re not going to bow down and let people trample all over us, just because we’re going through a period of unrest and uneasiness following Mark and Steve’s departure.

“No-one wants to stop players progressing and playing at the highest level.

“I completely understand why Luke would want to join Chelmsford.

“He deserved the opportunity, because of the goals he’s scored in recent seasons. But in terms of others leaving, I can’t let it happen if it’s at the detriment of our club and leads to our squad being ruined.

“We’ll dig our heels in and people are working behind the scenes to ensure that doesn’t happen.”

Bond admitted being disappointed by Chelmsford’s approaches.

Under league rules, they should not have made contact for 28 days after signing Callander.

“They’re messing with players’ minds, especially making contact the day before a game,” he said.

“It’s disrespectful and we know it’s happening, because the players have been naive enough to tell us.

“I don’t want to start an argument or fall out with anyone, but I don’t agree with the way things are being done.

“I care about this club so much and feel gutted by everything that’s happened in recent weeks.

“But people need to know what’s happening, otherwise they just look at our last couple of results and get the wrong impression.”

Swifts suffered a 2-0 defeat at home to lowly Waltham Forest on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Bond understands that the club’s budget will remain the same, despite Hawkes and Smith leaving.

There were suggestions that the club’s finances would be affected, as the latter is thought to have put some of his own money in.

However, Bond, whose side are away to Waltham Abbey on Saturday, said: “The budget is still the same and is at a level the club are comfortable with.”

Hawkes declined to comment when contacted by the Standard.

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