'A pleasure to work with': South Shields defender departs to concentrate on his career outside of football
South Shields FC have confirmed that Wouter Verstraaten has left the club to concentrate on his career outside of football.
The Dutch defender joined the club from Consett in January 2020 and made 24 competitive appearances for the Mariners in all competitions.
During his time at the club, Verstraaten completed a Master’s degree in finance management and will now return to the Netherlands.
South Shields Manager Graham Fenton said: “The mutual decision to part ways with Wouter was a difficult one because he has been such a pleasure to work with.
“We had a chat with him a couple of weeks ago to discuss his place in the squad and after that, Wouter had a think about what he wanted to do and decided he wasn’t prepared to be a squad player this season, which we fully respect.
“He has decided he would like to go back to the Netherlands to pursue his career in finance alongside playing local football there.
“Wouter has been a fantastic person to be around during his time with us and we wish him all the best, not only in his football but in his career, which we know he will be successful in due to the character he has.
“We hope it will not be too long until we find a direct replacement for Wouter within the squad and will keep supporters informed.”
A club statement said: “Wouter was a pleasure to work alongside from the moment he joined the club and will be greatly missed by all of his colleagues and friends at 1st Cloud Arena.”