MIDFIELDER Lewis Dark has left Swifts by mutual consent.
Swifts’ skipper (pictured) has struggled with a foot injury this season and missed a dozen games before his return to action at a late sub in this month’s win over Soham.
Heybridge manager Jody Brown said: “Lewis expressed his concerns about not being in the team, which I felt were a little unfounded given his injury rehabilitation and the squad’s good form.
“He wanted to play every game and could not really see past that. It was becoming detrimental to the group’s well being and Lewis was noticeably discontent so we agreed it was in everyone’s interest for him to move on.
“It’s particularly difficult for me as Lewis and I have enjoyed so many good times together over an eight-year period and he was my club captain. But the club always has to come first.
“We’ve reached cup finals, an FA Cup first round, a second round, play-offs and taken some great scalps – and successfully battled relegation together. I will forever be grateful for his efforts on the field for me.
“This season has been a special one and Lewis has been absolutely instrumental in it, playing close to 50 games.
“The club has lost its skipper at a pivotal time and everyone will be sad to see him go but we must be united. I’m sure Lewis will be supporting the group from afar and I personally will miss him.”
Dark’s departure means James Baker, who was signed from Harlow in February, has been appointed Swifts skipper.
Brown added: “James came in at a tough time and his experience, commitment, maturity, and performances have made this an obvious choice.
“He appears to be level-headed in almost all scenarios and I’ve observed how he communicates with the group, with the officials, and with club members.
”I think he’s a great example to the group and hope we can build a relationship similar to the one that I had with Lewis.”