Writer: Tom Bodell
Date:Friday June 28 2013
John Eustace's agent says that the Watford captain will leave Vicarage Road when his contract expires in search of first-team football.
Eustace, 33, is out of contract at the end of the month but was not included on the club's released list earlier in June.
Hampered by injury throughout the season, Eustace made just two Championship starts and three further substitute outings last term, and was yesterday linked with a move to Swindon Town.
Agent Colin Gordon told The Watford Observer that move away from WD18 beckoned as Eustace searched for regular game time.
'He wants to continue playing - he wanted assurances about playing time and things like that and Watford couldn`t give him that.
"It`s disappointing we couldn`t come to an agreement and that it`s petered out in this way but the club have been very fair with us and we part on good terms."
Signed from Stoke City by Aidy Boothroyd in January 2008 for a steal at Ł250,000, Eustace quickly became a key figure under Boothroyd.
A change in management saw the midfield enforcer set out on loan to Derby County, for whom he scored against Watford in his final outing.
Another change in management looked to have done Eustace few favours, with an appearance bonus in his contract preventing Malky Mackay from selecting him.
Having selflessly waived the right to the money he would be due, Eustace went from strength-to-strength and was hastily re-instated in the side, becoming captain and signing a new deal the following season.
The opportunity to join Leeds United arose in 2010, but the skipper snubbed the advances of the Elland Road club to ink a three-year deal to stay at Vicarage Road.
In total Eustace made 168 first-team appearances, scoring 16 times.
A fighter, a leader and a model professional with the upmost respect of his peers, Watford's dressing room will be poorer place for John's absence next season.
Good luck, John.
Date:Friday June 28 2013
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