Cammy Bowden regrets having to leave Turriff United – but felt he had to for the sake of his career.
After 11 seasons with Turriff, Bowden bade farewell to the club earlier this month in search of a fresh challenge.
The long-serving defender had hoped to finish his career with the club but felt that their decline in form over the last couple of seasons meant he had to look elsewhere.
Turriff have finished fourth-bottom in the last two Highland League seasons, with an emphasis on promoting youth taking precedence as finances were cut back.
Bowden said: “The last couple of years we’ve slipped down the table and it’s been a bit disappointing. You can see how it’s happened, with a lot of the good players moving on, and them going down the route of developing young players. It’s probably going to be that way for a couple of seasons until the teams develops.
“There’s a lot of really nice people I’ve met there and a really good bunch behind-the-scenes running the club. It was really difficult leaving and it wasn’t something I wanted to do – I wanted to spend my whole career there. But the way things have gone the last couple of seasons forced that decision on me.
“I’ve just turned 30 so I need to make the most of the time I’ve got left playing football. That’s probably the main reason for me moving on. I’ve loved my time at Turriff but I’ve got to look after myself and see what opportunities are out there now.”
Bowden reflects fondly on the 2014-15 campaign at Turriff under Ross Jack, in which they came second to an unbeaten Brora Rangers in the league and won the Aberdeenshire Shield against Fraserburgh.
He added: “I would say that was the best Turriff team we had. We were strong in every position; defensively we were really tight, had a great keeper behind us and attacking-wise we were always good.
“Considering Brora were such a strong team, to be up there challenging with them was brilliant. We won the Aberdeenshire Shield as well, so that was probably one of the highlights.”
There is little hurry for Bowden to find a new club, given the lack of a start date yet for Highland League football.
He does admit though he has several interesting options currently on the table.
Bowden said: “I’ve spoke to a few folk, teams in the Highland League and a couple of teams in the juniors. At the moment with the uncertainty of when football is going to come back, there’s a bit of time to take a spell out and see what offers come in. Then I can pick which club is right for me.
“I don’t think there’s any rush. I’ve got some good options on the table just now so I’m taking the time to work out what’s best for me.
“I want to be at a team that’s challenging, a team that’s winning trophies. I spoke to clubs who are really ambitious and that’s exactly the kind of attitude I share. A team like that would be perfect.”