Hawks midfielder Stock '˜sad' to end playing days ahead of AFC Bournemouth move

Brian Stock admitted making the decision to end his playing days is one of the hardest things he has ever done.

Thursday, 20th December 2018, 11:30 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:25 am

The experienced Hawks midfielder announced this week that he will bring the curtain down on his 18-year career at the start of January.

He will take up a role at Premier League outfit AFC Bournemouth, joining the Cherries' academy coaching set-up.

Stock, who celebrates his 37th birthday on Christmas Eve, knows he could have carried on playing.

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But the former Bournemouth, Preston, Doncaster Rovers and Burnley ace feels the time is right to pack in.

'˜It is the right decision for me and my family moving forward,' said Stock.

'I have to think about the next 20 years.

'A chance to work within the academy set-up at Bournemouth is a fantastic opportunity and not one I can turn down.

'For me it is an exciting opportunity and adds a whole new dimension going forward.

'It was a sad day, however, when I asked to be released from my contract with the Hawks.

'I have had a fantastic few years with the club.

'People questioned my decision to drop down from the Championship to play for them.

'Relocating my family was the main reason I came back to the area.'

Stock moved to the Hawks in 2014 and has made more than 130 appearances for Lee Bradbury's side.

Relegation from National League South was followed by two promotions, with the Hawks now occupying a place in the National League for the first time.

The club captain said he will remember his time with the club with great fondness.

Stock added: 'I will look back with fond memories of my time at Westleigh Park.

'The season we were relegated was disappointing but I promised to try my hardest to get the club back up.

'We did that and for the last two years were unstoppable.

'Going up into the National League is a massive achievement and something we can hold our heads high about.

'Getting promoted on the final day of the season you almost couldn't write it.

'I always said that when I finished I wanted it to be on my terms.

'It was important to me not to just drift away.

'The decision is something I feel comfortable with.'

Stock's final Hawks appearance will be against Barrow on January 5.