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Zebroski is released by Cheltenham after stay marred by unreliability

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: January 05, 2013

Former Plymouth Argyle striker Chris Zebroski has been released by Cheltenham Town PICTURE: neil brookman

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Cheltenham Town have parted company with former Plymouth Argyle and Torquay United striker Chris Zebroski by mutual agreement.

The summer signing from Bristol Rovers had 18 months left on his contract with the npower League Two club, but he is now a free agent and is available to join another club during the January transfer window.

Zebroski's brief spell at the Abbey Business Stadium was tarnished by unreliability, causing him to miss four matches this season.

The most recent absence was for the New Year's Day match at Oxford United, which has directly led to his exit.

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He pulled out of the match at late notice after an incident on New Year's Eve which left him in hospital overnight.

Cheltenham manager Mark Yates held showdown talks with Zebroski at Whaddon Road yesterday and the club confirmed his departure after 22 starts, two substitute appearances and six goals.

Yates said: "We're parting on good terms and, after a discussion with Chris, it was agreed that a move was the best thing for all concerned.

"I think we all accept that the move didn't work out – sometimes these things happen in football – and we wish him all the very best for the future."

Yates was keen to resolve the Zebroski situation before Cheltenham began their preparations in earnest yesterday morning for the visit of Barclays Premier League club Everton on Monday for a third-round FA Cup tie.

"With the transfer window now open we have the opportunity to freshen up the squad ready for the second half of the season and I will be looking to do that from next week," Yates said. "In the meantime, all our focus is on the Everton match on Monday night."

The highlight of Zebroski's time at Cheltenham was a tireless display against Bristol Rovers in October, when he scored the only goal of the game. He also scored at Torquay to earn Cheltenham a 2-2 draw, and he netted the winner at home against Burton Albion.

The 26-year-old has a chequered past, having been sacked by Argyle following an incident involving team captain Paul Wotton at a pre-season training camp in Austria in 2006.

Wotton sustained cuts to his head following a fracas involving Zebroski in a restaurant in Graz.

Swindon-born Zebroski, who started out as an apprentice at his home-town club, was also ordered to do 150 hours unpaid work after admitting assaulting a soldier in a Torquay harbour-side street fight in 2009.

He was given a 12-month community order and ordered to attend an alcohol and substance misuse programme.

Bristol Rovers manager John Ward completed his fourth signing of the January transfer window when he offered former Tranmere Rovers defender Mark McChrystal a deal until the end of the season.

Ward moved quickly to draft in another central defender after Rovers had an offer to sign Cian Bolger on a full deal turned down by Leicester City, and were told the chances of bringing the youngster back on loan was "unlikely".

The Rovers boss is also weighing up the possibility of signing forward Guy Madjo, after inviting the former Aldershot Town player to train with the Pirates.

The well-travelled striker, who completed a loan spell with Plymouth last month, was released by the Shots at the start of the new year.

Ward this week borrowed Queen's Park Rangers forward Tom Hitchcock, Colchester United midfielder John-Joe O'Toole and Millwall goalkeeper Steve Mildenhall.

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