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Paul Black sacrifices cash to help Robins' cause

19 January 2015

Paul Black said he was happy to sacrifice a large chunk of cash to help Cheltenham Town boss Paul Buckle free up funds for potential new signings.

The defender, who turned 25 on Sunday, has left the Robins with six months remaining of his contract.

He is now set for a move into Major League Soccer in the USA, saying that picking up his wages at Whaddon Road was never an option for him unless he was playing games.

“I don’t believe in just sitting on your contract and collecting your money,” Black said. 

“I like to play and feel I am really earning my money, otherwise I am happy to sacrifice cash to go somewhere else and get games.

“I know the budget is tight at Cheltenham and there was no point in me sitting there if I am not playing, that’s not me.

“What I have been given is a fraction of what I’d have been paid over six months, but you have got to be happy in your job and it’s obviously been a frustrating season for me, so this is best for everyone.”

Black thanked Buckle for his honesty and the part he has played in helping him find a new club on the other side of the Atlantic.

“The manager has been very honest with me from the start, saying that Craig (Braham-Barrett) is his number one left-back and James Bowen is a promising youngster coming through in that position,” Black said.

“The club can’t afford to have three left-backs so he has helped me with the process of finding another club and been great with me.”

Black said his main disappointment has been not starting a first team game in his preferred position of left-back.

“I played centre-half and centre midfield, which were new positions for me and the obvious highlight was the 5-0 win over Swindon Town in the FA Cup first round,” he said.

“A lot of it has been down to Craig being one of our most consistent players this year, so I’ve had to keep my head down, working hard and I know it’s all part of football.

“Craig has dug in and played well so I can’t have any complaints really, but I am a left-back and Cheltenham fans never got to see me play in that position.”

Black is excited by the prospect of moving to America, with a switch set to be sealed that will see him relocate at the end of February ready for pre-season training.

“I came to Cheltenham with a point to prove after the year I had at Mansfield, but it’s carried on the same for me,” he said.

“Some people will write you off, but I feel I have come through the hardest part now and I’ll still play football, nothing will stop me because I am hungrier than ever.

“I am not going to America for a holiday or a nice life, I am going there to kick on and I want to play in the top level there and compete for trophies and medals.

“I love Cheltenham as a place to live and I am not in a great rush to leave. I have to sort a few things out and it looks like I’ll go to America towards the end of February when pre-season starts.

“I’ll use this time wisely to relax and switch off and then I’ll be refreshed and ready to go again when the season starts in March over there.”

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