Braintree Town boss Hakan Hayrettin admitted that the absence of Joe Ellul showed in his team’s defensive display against Ebbsfleet United

The Iron skipper announced his departure in the wake of Saturday’s 1-0 win at Maidenhead United as he is leaving to take up a chance to play in New Zealand.

His loss was felt in a 4-0 Vanarama National League defeat, but Ellul isn’t the only Braintree player to have left this week as Billy Crook has also departed.

Hayrettin said: “We’ve lost our captain (Joe Ellul) because he’s gone to play football in New Zealand and Billy Crook has decided he doesn’t want to be here anymore, so he’s gone as well.

“Billy was told he was playing on Saturday but he wasn’t sure he wanted to play and I said to him that if he didn’t want to be with us then that was fine.

“If a player doesn’t want to be here then there’s not much you can do; you can’t hold them to ransom and make them stay.

“So he has made that decision and I wish him all the best.

“He said it was nothing personal with me but he just wants to go.

“He had a long lay-off from injury and I understand that as I’ve had injuries as a player, but we put him back in and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to be here.

“We can’t have that as we don’t want to upset the rest of the players with someone who isn’t sure.”

Hayrettin admitted that Ellul’s departure showed against Ebbsfleet but he is working hard to recruit new players and said, with Crook also leaving, he now had a little bit of leeway within his budget to bring people in.

“It was evident that we missed Joe – you could see that (against Ebbsfleet),” added Hayrettin.

“So I’m desperately trying to bring in players.

“I’m on the phone every day, but it’s difficult.

“However, with Joe and Billy going, it does give me some room to manoeuvre; we just have to make sure we get the right players in.

“We looking at loan players, but also players we can sign.

“If we can get our own player then that will be best but it’s more difficult getting players in at this stage in the season.”