HOTSHOT Danny Mitchley insists the decision to leave Kendal Town has more to do with circumstance than an overriding desire to quit Parkside Road.
The 24-year-old has signed for Evo-Stik Premier Division promotion hopefuls Skelmersdale United – the club he played for until the age of 15.
Mitchley, who started his senior career with Blackpool, initially joined Kendal on loan from Altrincham and impressed despite the Mintcakes suffering relegation to Evo-Stik First Division North.
He went on to score 26 goals last season, making him the second highest scorer in the league behind the prolific Lee Gaskell of Ramsbottom United.
And while still keen to climb the football ladder and perhaps one day return to the full-time game, Mitchley has nothing but fond memories of this time at Kendal.
“I got offered a contract a while ago and openly said to Fozzie (Dave Foster) if nothing comes up where I can go noticeably higher then I will stay,” said Mitchley.
“Nothing like that happened but by time I came back to speak with the manager, circumstances at the club had changed and on parts we couldn’t really agree.
“I wasn’t asking for more money or anything, the club simply had a certain budget and I didn’t fit into that and in the end we came to a mutual agreement for me not to stay.
“I never ruled out remaining at the club as I loved my time there so much and it’s not as though I wanted to move, it was just one of those things.
“I’m expecting a new child soon and with me likely to be one of the only players next season travelling from Merseyside it was always going to be a bit of an ask.
“But Kendal made me so welcome and allowed me to play without pressure, it hasn’t been easy to walk away but I do have the chance to play at a higher level.”
The loss of Mitchley has been tempered by the return of another Parkside Road favourite, with Mark Jackson moving in the opposite direction and signing on the dotted line.
And while Mintcakes boss Dave Foster is disappointed to see his leading marksman prized away, he is excited by the prospect of seeing Jackson once again don a Kendal shirt.
“It’s a good opportunity for Danny to step up the pyramid which is something he always wanted to do,” added Foster.
“We tried everything to keep him but on both sides we couldn’t quite get to an agreement and I have to focus on the squad as a whole.
“I had a really long chat with him and I think there was a genuine feeling on both sides we wanted to keep the relationship going but it just wasn’t possible for many different reasons.
“But he goes with our thanks and best wishes. He was always professional, a great goalscorer and a delight to work with.
“In terms of Mark, again it’s somebody I know well having played with him at Lancaster City and Kendal.
“He brings good experience and has a proven record of scoring goals at this level, while also very good at linking play.
“He is another good signing for us and strengthens the squad as a whole and alongside Kieran Pickup will help fill in the goal gap. I’m delighted he’s on board.”