Colley is shown door by Nailers after training ground bust-up
BELPER Town have sacked defender Karl Colley for allegedly punching a team-mate in training.
Nailers boss Peter Duffield says Colley struck recent signing Matt Millns.
"Karl has been asked to find another club after a series of breaches of discipline which left me with no option but to take the action I have," said Duffield.
"I have done everything in my power to help Karl cope with a number of personal situations and given him every opportunity to convince me that he is an asset to the club both on and off the field.
"But he has recently made a statement on the supporters' message board and I cannot let it pass without comment, particularly in response to his comments against Matt Millns.
"The facts of the matter are that Karl deliberately kicked Matt during a recent training session for no apparent reason and, understandably, Matt responded strongly, only verbally and certainly not physically.
"However, Karl then proceeded to punch him.
"I understand that Matt offered to shake his hand and put everything behind him after the incident but Karl's response was to threaten him with further violence."
Former Gresley Rovers centre-back Millns, who joined Belper earlier this month following a brief stint with Hucknall Town, is yet to figure for the first team.
"I think Karl was unhappy about the signing of Matt Millns, despite the fact that he has yet to make his debut for us but I want to make it clear to everyone that Matt is blameless in all of this, yet there appears to be a possible groundswell of opinion against him," said Duffield.
"There have been other incidents with Karl that have made things very difficult for me to accept as manager.
"After the Ossett Town game in which we were very poor, Karl told me he hadn't been in the right frame of mind to play.
"Then, after another game, he harangued one of the officials in the function room, which I found totally unacceptable.
"He has also missed training sessions and despite repeated warnings about his behaviour, the incident with Matt Millns was the final straw.
"I was prepared to take full responsibility had Karl left the club quietly but I couldn't let matters remain as they were, particularly after his statement on the supporters' message board.
"It pains me to have to let a player of Karl's quality go but I have to maintain discipline with the players and if I had turned a blind eye to what had happened it sends the wrong message throughout the club.
"We have a fantastic defensive record and that is in part down to Karl's form in the centre of defence but the reputation of the club is the most important issue here and this is why I feel I must put the record straight."
Belper are due to take on Evo-Stik League First Division South promotion rivals Gresley at Christchurch Meadow tomorrow, though the weather has put the game in doubt.
"Gresley haven't got far to come, so we'll wait until Saturday morning to make a decision," said Duffield, who should have a full squad to pick from apart from suspended midfielder Colin Marrison.