Former Bromsgrove Sporting skipper Craig Jones writes for The Standard in his final column, looking back at his time with the Rouslers, and taking the opportunity to say goodbye to Sporting fans.
FIRST of all I’d just like to thank everyone who’s been in touch since I decided to leave Sporting.
Ex-managers and coaches, teammates both past and present, non-League managers, players and fans: your messages were both unexpected and appreciated. Thank you.
I don’t really want to go too deep into my reasons for leaving Bromsgrove.
I think the main ones have been quite obvious and these have led to a lack of enjoyment.
Bromsgrove is an unbelievable club to be involved with, one that will keep you hanging on longer than you maybe should and unfortunately this has been to my detriment.
Captaining the club, up until recently when it was taken off me without any conversation, has been a real honour. The fans have always been great with me and I can’t thank them enough.
The backing they give the team is unrivalled, especially back at Step 6 on those cold midweek away nights. Hearing them singing my name both home and away is crazy, something I won’t forget in a hurry. Again, thank you.
On reflection I’m proud of what I’ve been part of and achieved in my seven seasons with the club.
The ‘Invincible’ season, back-to-back league title wins, the FA Vase run to the semi-finals and numerous clean sheets will be things I look back on when I finish playing with great pride.
I really enjoyed the start of this season, being part of a winning team, keeping clean sheets and punching above our weight at the top of the table. I’m gutted I won’t be part of the progress Bromsgrove will undoubtedly make over the next few years.
I’m taking a bit of time to reflect before seeing what’s next. I feel like I’ve got a lot to offer but my next move will need to be the right one. Moving clubs isn’t something I’m used to so I’ll take the time I need to ensure I get it right.
I’d like to wish the team all the best for the rest of the season and beyond. There are some top lads in that dressing room and I hope they achieve all they can.
There are no hard feelings on my part and I’d love the club to continue up the non-League ladder.
I hope all of you fans keep backing the boys as you have all season, they deserve that.
I’m sure they will give you lots to celebrate come the end of the season, which you fans, the best in non-League football without doubt, will unquestionably deserve.
To finish I’d just like to thank Ben and his predecessor Craig for their support with this column.
It’s been something I’ve enjoyed putting together each week and I’ll miss doing it.
Up the Rouslers.