WALKING away from Dorchester Town this summer simply wasn’t an option for long-serving midfielder Jamie Gleeson.
The 29-year-old quashed any rumours over his future late last week by signing a deal that will keep him at the club next season, his 10th at the Avenue.
And plans for his testimonial, scheduled for this summer, are gathering momentum with Premier League giants Southampton being talked about as possible visitors to Dorchester – Gleeson is good friends with England international Adam Lallana following their time together at the Saints.
While that is not set in stone yet, one thing is for sure, Gleeson will be staying to fight for the Magpies’ cause for at least another 12 months.
The part-time David Beckham lookalike, currently out of action with a knee injury, said he had no hesitation in putting pen to paper on a new contract, even with the prospect of playing at a lower level next term.
“It’s not easy walking away from a club and I would feel bad if I did it,” he said. “I’m not one of those people who can just walk away.
“I could earn more money at other clubs but I wouldn’t be looked after as well as I am at Dorchester.
“It feels like home for me and the club treats me how I treat it.
“It’s a good club to be at and one where I feel comfortable – I feel part of the furniture.”
He continued: “Phil (Simkin) and me have got a good relationship and he is understanding about my work outside football.
“If I went to another club the manager probably wouldn’t be like that.
“Phil has got the approach that I like in a manager, he knows that if I go away with my Beckham stuff I’m still going to be training.”
Not being able to help his team-mates in recent weeks has been deeply frustrating for Gleeson.
Despite putting up a brave fight, the Magpies’ relegation to the Southern League was confirmed on Tuesday night, with Gleeson having to watch on from the sidelines.
Commenting further on being part of a relegated team, he added: “It’s still difficult to accept. We have done so well to stay in the league for so long without the budget that other teams have.
“Sometimes there is not a lot you can do and, in some ways, we’ve probably over-achieved this season. But without the community trust and the people that have come in we wouldn’t have a football club.”
Dorchester are away to Whitehawk today and host Gosport Borough on Monday in their final home fixture of the season (both 3pm).