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Telford place James Hurst on the transfer list

Sport | Published:

AFC Telford United have slapped troubled James Hurst on the transfer list and fined the defender two weeks' wages.

The 24-year-old is set to leave the New Bucks Head after a spat with supporters on social media site Twitter led to an internal investigation.

Bucks chairman Ian Dosser and general manager Sharon Bowyer carried out the inquiry into tweets following the home defeat to Salford City – where Hurst was sent off and bowed to the home crowd.

Hurst was suspended from all playing activities after comments like "I feel like a surgeon stacking shelfs in this league (sic)" and "u paid to watch me today (sic)."

But boss Rob Smith, who previously signed ex-West Brom prospect for Hednesford Town, has confirmed the player's Bucks days are over.

"I can't say I'm not disappointed about the way this has all unfolded," said the Telford chief.

"I feel it's in the best interests if James leaves. I feel there has been too much said.

"It would be difficult for him having lost the trust and respect of fans."

Other Hurst comments, which seemed to mock National League North Telford's level of football and bragged about a plush lifestyle, were ill-timed given the club's current financial struggles.

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Telford issued a statement last month revealing their cash woes, declaring that £25,000 needed to be raised by both the end of October and November.

It is not the first time that Hurst will have left a club under a cloud. The Sutton Coldfield-born former England youth international, who featured once for the Baggies in the Premier League, departed previous club Torquay after an investigation into an alleged incident in Torquay town centre.

The versatile player was one of Smith's marquee signings this summer. The boss believed Hurst could prove a major coup for the Bucks, despite Hurst arriving needing a groin operation.

Hurst ousted fans' favourite Dwayne Samuels at right wing-back, impressing on a couple of occasion before seeing red against Salford.

The ex-Birmingham and Shrewsbury loanee then claimed that he had been 'bullied' and 'trolled' on Twitter.

Telford travel to Worcester City for a league clash on Saturday with left-backs Ben O'Hanlon – on loan from Wolves – and Darren Campion both suspended and a possible replacement in Hurst now out of the picture.

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