JAMES White says he felt it was time for a change after swapping Concord Rangers for East Thurrock United.
The Beach Boys captain leaves Concord after five successful years at the club, in which he lifted the Essex Senior Cup on three consecutive occasions.
But after a season in which Concord struggled, White, 28, is looking to make an impact with Rocks in the National League South next season.
“I’ve been there for five years and there have been clubs that have come in before and it hasn’t been the right time,” he said.
“The environment was hard to leave and this year it has been more of a challenge. We had a difficult season and it felt like it was time to make this decision.
“It is a new environment and a chance to kick on. You can get complacent at a club after being there for a while and I didn’t want that to be me.
“I had a good year last year and I want to focus on pre-season. I am already doing bits and want to be in the best shape possible.”
White confirmed other teams had enquired as to his availability but the Leigh based midfielder said a move to East Thurrock was the most appealing.
He added he was pleased to learn he would not be employed at centre-back at Rocks, a position he filled in at a number of times last year.
“I have known Covo (Rocks manager John Coventry) indirectly for some time so I sat down with him and he ran me through his plans and it was inspiring to hear.
“I know a few of the guys there which always helps and they are local. I work in the City and it’s another small club in terms of the league and budgets but it is like a family run club.
“I felt as though I could be at centre-half next year at Concord and Covo had a different idea for me.
“But I am leaving behind a very good club with excellent foundations. (Chairman) Ant Smith has been excellent as has everyone from those behind the bar to the management.
“It was hard to leave.”
Beach Boys boss Adam Flanagan said he was sad to see his captain depart, praising White for his contribution over the last five years.
But he added he thinks a new challenge can help White rediscover his best form.
“I think last year was a tough season and something Whitey hadn’t experienced since coming to Concord,” he said.
“I think when you have tough experiences you evaluate things more thoroughly and after five years at the club James wanted a new challenge.
“I think it is probably what he needs to get him focused back on his football once again and if he does then East Thurrock will have a decent player.
“I think the captaincy was something that didn’t come naturally to Whitey,” he added. “He is a laugher and joker within the dressing room and sometimes I felt he struggled with the switch to leader, motivator and inspirer.
“That said I felt last year, after a poor start to the season, he performed well often out of position at centre half and he played a big part in helping the club retain its league status.
“Since I came in two years ago Whitey has performed to a consistent level and helped us retain the Essex Senior Cup, secure a top 10 finish and keep our league status this year.
“I won’t forget the goal he got away against Dartford, which was an absolute screamer.
“He is a big lad and a bigger character so will be missed.
“But with change comes opportunity and someone now has an opportunity to be a part of something unique.”
Flanagan added a decision on a new captain would be made in pre-season.