Claridge leaves Cherries
By Simon Fudge
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
Bournemouth boss Kevin Bond has released Steve Claridge from his squad.
Bournemouth boss Kevin Bond has released veteran striker Steve Claridge from his squad.
The 40-year-old had re-joined The Cherries on pay-as-you play deal early last month before going on to make his 1,000th senior appearance as a professional against Port Vale.
The return to fitness of Steve Fletcher and James Hayter and the former young strikers Sam Vokes and Brett Pitman has prompted Bond to consider Claridge as surplus to requirements.
Despite the decision, Bond was pleased to hand the former Portsmouth, Weymouth and Millwall player-manager a chance to set his unique record.
"It is a fabulous milestone for him," Bond told the Bournemouth Echo.
"But it was never my intention for us to be a vehicle for Steve to play his 1,000th game.
"At the time, I had only one fit recognised striker in Steve Fletcher and we were really struggling.
"With the window closed, we had no chance of bringing anyone else in and Steve was ready and available to help us out.
"He is a very fit man, he still wants to play and if he is still looking for another club, I would have no hesitation in recommending him."
Two more players in Simon Gillett and Matthew Connolly have ended their loans with the Dorset club and returned to their parent clubs in Southampton and Arsenal respectively.