In a surprising development, centre-back and new Billericay Town recruit Joe Ellul has indicated on Twitter today that he has made the decision not to join the Blues for the new season. Joe had finished the previous campaign at Maldon & Tiptree in the Isthmian North division.
It had originally been announced, in June 2018, that he would re-join the club for his third spell and be part of the Blues squad for the 2018-19 National South campaign. In total, Ellul made 60 appearances for the Blues, scoring 12 goals.
Although no specific details are known on why circumstances have changed, Joe has commented that he will not sign a deal with Billericay Town this season. In a message to the supporters, he added that “the fans will always hold a place with me but it’s a decision I have made, which I feel is the right one”.
The loss of Ellul, who had been recruited to the heart of the Town defence to replace the departing Rob Swaine, comes less than one month before the opening National South fixture away to Truro on Saturday August 4th.
With defensive cover provided by Joe Kizzi, named in the Bostik Premier Team of the Season at centre-back, club record signing, Dean Inman, and experienced campaigner, Ricky Hayles, BTFC do not lack options at the back. However, given expected demands on the squad over the season, it seems likely that the club will need to recruit a suitable replacement as soon as possible.
Ellul’s career at BTFC commenced in summer 2015 after being snapped up by manger, Craig Edwards. By February 2016, he had moved on to East Thurrock Utd. Forming a formidable centre-back pairing alongside, Ricky Hayles, he gained promotion to the National South with the Rooks via the play-offs’.
By January 2017, Joe returned to BTFC under new owner, Glenn Tamplin. However, after a period out of the regular starting X1, Joe agreed an amicable departure from the Blues and signed, in October 2017, for National League, Braintree Town, under his previous boss at Enfield Town, Brad Quinton.
After signing for Isthmian North side Maldon & Tiptree in February 2018, Joe had planned to make it third time lucky, joining up with BTFC for the 2018-19 season.
Sadly, today’s news of his early departure means that the fans will not get the chance to see him once more in a Blue shirt.