We can confirm that the club have accepted a second bid from Eastleigh Football Club for the transfer of winger Ross Stearn. The Bristol-based 26-year-old, who was voted Man of the Match in yesterday's game against Barrow, has scored six goals for U's this season and made 80 appearances for the club in total.
Manager Paul Doswell commented: "Ross has improved almost game by game since joining Sutton, and thoroughly deserves this chance to secure his family's future for the next three years, whilst also realising an ambition to be a full time professional. Whilst we didn't want to sell, Ross only had six months left on his contract, and it was unlikely that he would sign another due to his family circumstances and a regular three hour drive to the Club.
As a club we feel very proud that we can improve players and give them a chance to progress with full time football, and Eastleigh have provided Ross with this chance. They are a very ambitious club, similar to Forest Green, and hopefully Ross will fulfil his dream of playing league football. I also have every faith in Ryan Burge and Bradley Hudson-Odoi that they can help fill the void left by Ross, and we still maintain the best squad of players that I've ever had the pleasure to manage.
We will always make the right decisions for the Club and our players. We don't have the financial capacity of most clubs at this level, but players sign here because they know we will improve them and honour our word to let them progress. It's a huge badge of honour for the coaching staff, especially Ian Baird who stays out of the limelight but has a great ability to get the best out of players who previously have been released as not good enough, or in Ross Stearn's case, was a perennial substitute for Bath City.
So we move on, still as ambitious to produce good players and keep this great football club moving forward. My black book is always open, updated and ready to go, and our job is to keep finding the next Stefan Payne, Charlie Clough, Dan Wishart, Tom Bolarinwa or Ross Stearn.
Ross has asked me to pass on these words. "Thank you to all at the club for the best two years of my career. I've loved being part of this wonderful club, with great team-mates and supporters. Winning the National League South and the subsequent celebrations is something I'll never forget. From a family perspective it's a great move for me, and I would like to thank Sutton for allowing the transfer to happen. I know Sutton United will keep progressing and would recommend any young player who wants to improve and progress to sign at this special football club."