Sutton United boss Paul Doswell says it took courage for Michael Boateng to ring him and return to Gander Green Lane.
Boateng left United in the summer looking for a Football League contract and after trials at Stevenage, Oxford United, Luton Town and Bradford City, the 20-year-old ended up at United’s Blue Square South rivals Bromley.
When it did not work out, Boateng bit the bullet and phoned Doswell – who swallowed his own pride to welcome him back into the United fold.
“Michael came to us from Bristol Rovers and as far as I was concerned he was all set to train with us in the summer in preparation for the season, but he never did,” Doswell said.
“It really disrupted the team because all of a sudden we were without a full back and had to play someone else there. I was not very pleased.
“When he came to us originally he was disillusioned with football and we got him to the point again where maybe he could join a League club.
“But he should have stayed with us for the first 15 or so games of this season, and then maybe things would have been different. He got very bad
advice off his agents. Agents tend to be out to line their own pockets.
“Michael’s only young and he would have learned a big lesson from this. But he was big enough and man enough to call me, and I was big enough to take it.”
Boateng was not in the squad that lost 1-0 at Eastleigh at the weekend, but he will be in the squad that entertains Ramsgate in the FA Trophy this weekend.
Doswell said: “We were unlucky against Eastleigh, but an individual error by Kevin [Scrivens] gifted them the goal.
“We’re down to the bare bones for the FA Trophy match as Stefan Payne and Harry Beautyman are out with sickness, Jamie Stuart is suspended and Paul Telfer and Steven Old are still both injured.
“We’re taking the Trophy very seriously. We can still do well in the league, and to have a cup run along side that is the ultimate ambition.”