DANNY SLEATH says he will always cherish his time at Boston United, but admits he could not turn down the opportunity to test himself in the Blue Square Bet Premier.
Sleath called time on his Pilgrims career when he sealed a move to Blue Square Bet North play-off winners Nuneaton Town last week.
After three years at the Jakemans Stadium, the 25-year-old admitted it was a wrench to leave the Pilgrims, who he helped to promotion in 2010 and the play-offs a year later.
Sleath revealed he was close to re-signing for Jason Lee's side, but a late swoop by Boro boss Kevin Wilkin convinced him to move on.
"I think people thought I was delaying things as I was looking for a move," said Sleath.
"But that wasn't the case. I've just finished university and I had exams. I was going to sort things out (with Boston) after that.
"But then Nuneaton got in touch. It all happened quite quickly.
"I know a couple of people there after playing for the Great Britain Universities' team.
"It's not about the money, I'm not like that. It was just a good opportunity to play at a higher level against some big sides.
"I told Jason (Lee) and I think he was disappointed, but he totally understood.
"I'm 25 now and I want to test myself at the highest level possible."
Sleath has been touched by the positive messages he has had since his departure was announced last week.
"I've had so many nice messages from Boston fans wishing me all the best and saying thank you," he revealed.
"I've not had one negative message from anyone and that means a lot to me.
"I've loved my three years at Boston. Everyone at the club has been so good to me.
"It's been three good years. We got promoted in the first year, then had a great season and got to the play-offs.
"I like to think I played a big part in that success.
"Last season wasn't that great, but I really believe it won't be long before Boston are back in the Conference, if not next season then soon. Everything is in place for it."
In Nuneaton, Sleath believes he is joining a club in a similar mould to United.
"They're a very similar club to Boston in terms of fanbase," he said.
"It's a well organised club off the pitch too. I can't wait to get going there, but I'll miss Boston too. I'll always love the club."