Barnet FC can confirm that David Stephens will be leaving the club after failing to agree a new deal.
The 23-year-old defender departs The Hive after joining the club in the summer of 2012 and going on to make a total of 136 appearances for the Bees, including 40 starts during Barnet’s title-winning campaign last season.
Discussing Stephens’ decision to leave, Martin Allen was full of praise for the centre-half and the impact that he had last season:
“David Stephens has rejected the club’s offer of a new contract, and after lengthy discussions with the Chairman last night we have decided not to change the offer.
“Dave will now not be signing for Barnet and we will be seeking compensation.
“Dave has been a tremendous player for us and I have really enjoyed working with him. He will always have a special place back here at Barnet and also for me.
“He was one of the key players in taking us back into the Football League and I am sure that Dave has a bright future and career ahead of him and it has been an absolute pleasure to work with him on and off the field. It is a disappointment to lose him but we have to move on.
“Knowing that the negotiations were ongoing and that nothing had been settled, I have invited Michael Nelsen to train with us through pre-season with a view to looking at him for a contract.”
Everybody at Barnet FC would like to thank David for all of his considerable efforts for the club and wish him well for the future.