Many Glovers fans expecting to see former Yeovil Town midfielder Ritchie Jones on display at Huish Park, may have been surprised to see his name omitted from Oldham Athletic's teamsheet. The former Manchester United trainee signed for the Latics last summer and has made 31 appearances for them, including 23 starts.
Oldham have released a statement today, indicating that Jones was sent home following a disciplinary incident at a training session the club had arranged in Bristol. Manager Paul Dickov told the team his starting eleven at that time, but Jones was not part of that line-up. Oldham state that he subsequently "stormed off the pitch" and refused on two occasions to return to the training ground and complete the training session.
As a result, when Oldham arrived at their hotel in Taunton, Dickov sent Jones home on a train back up to Lancashire, thus he never arrived at Huish Park for the match against his former team-mates.
The incident is not the first time that Jones has taken exception to being dropped from a side. During the early part of the 2009-10 season, he handed in a transfer request at Hartlepool United, after their then manager Chris Turner had preferred other midfielders in the Pools line-up, starting in just one of their pre-season friendlies that year.
A week or two later, Jones withdrew his transfer request, issuing an apology for the decision that he made, saying at the time that he had made a "rash decision" that he regretted:
"I just want to let people know that me putting a transfer request in was to do with off-field matters that were affecting me. I think towards the end of last season things were getting to me and perhaps at times I carried that frustration on to the pitch with me. What I did last week was a result of that and looking back I now know that was a rash decision on my part."
Jones is currently halfway through a two year contract at Boundary Park - his actions before Saturday's game would bring that future into doubt. Oldham indicate that Dickov has yet to meet with Jones to discuss the fall-out from the incident.
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