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Whittle Turns Down Offer!

Date: 02/02/2007

GRIMSBY Town skipper Justin Whittle has revealed he was close to leaving the Mariners before Wednesday's transfer deadline, but will now stay and help the club to get out of its current predicament.

Whittle said: "I got a call from my old manager at Hull, Warren Joyce, who is now coaching at Royal Antwerp. They are Manchester United's feeder club over there and one of the young United defenders has just been injured."

"Warren asked if I fancied going over to plug the gap and also do a bit of coaching and progress with that. That really interested me because that is something I am keen to do when I do finish playing."

"But the manager (Buckley) wanted me to stay here and told me that."

"Of course it was a bit frustrating at first because I was seriously thinking about it as the chance might not come up again.

"But I have been at Grimsby Town for three years now and am here until the summer at least. I always give 100 per cent when I play and that will continue."

"I just hope we can get away from danger at the bottom of the table."

Although Town boss Alan Buckley understood Whittle's desire to perhaps further his career, he still thinks that the ex army man has a lot to offer the Mariners. "I understand Justin's position when he got the call from his mate. But it would have meant us releasing him from his contract and I didn't feel that was right for us."

"We need a player with his heart and experience in the situation we are in."

"While I know it was a good offer for Justin, I also have to think about what is happening here and where we are at present."

"My first responsibility is to the football club and losing a player like Justin, when we need him most, wouldn't have helped our cause at all."

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