Ian Ross admits he is leaving Boston United with a heavy heart.
The club captain says that he is now looking for a ‘new challenge’ after announcing that he will leave York Street when his contract comes to an end this summer.
“Boston’s very close to my heart. I’ve had a couple of good spells here but I just think it’s the right time to leave the club,” Ross told The Standard.
“I think a new challenge is what I need. I am gutted to be leaving, but I think it’s the right time.
“The gaffer’s brought in some good players and I think he’ll improve again next year.”
“I think everybody knows I’m very proud to be Boston’s captain. It’s something I’ll take with me and remember fondly for a very long time.”
Ross has enjoyed two impressive spells with the Pilgrims.
He first linked up with the club as an on-loan teenager in 2004, scooping a League Two Player of the Month award as he made 16 appearances and scored four goals.
After turning out for Bury, Notts County, Rotherham United, Alfreton Town, Gainsborough Trinity and Harrogate Town, Ross returned to York Street in November 2011, going on to make a further 113 appearances and scoring 12 more goals.
Amazingly, Ross has netted four goals in each and every season he has played for the Pilgrim, no matter how many appearances he has made that term.
Playmaker Ross, 28, marked his 100th appearance for the club with a goals and two assists as United won 3-1 at Gloucester City in September.
“To get 100 caps for Boston, and to do it while I’m captain, that’s a great achievement for myself,” he added.
“Boston is like a family to me. I’ve met some very good people.
“The fans have been brilliant to me, to the point that they’ve really got behind me and everyone.
“They know the type of player I am. I’ll always put my heart into it.
“I will miss it here.”
Ross accompanied manager Dennis Greene to the club’s official launch of their Quadrant plans earlier this season.
And after being impressed with the proposed new out-of-town ground, he believes he is leaving a club which is moving in the right direction.
He added: “I’d like to thank the fans for all they’ve done. Also the chairman.
“He’s a really passionate guy and he’ll take this club a long way, onto bigger and better things.
“Steve Evans gave me my debut in League Football as a winger. But if you know me, you’ll know I never was a winger.
“When I came back things were different, we didn’t have a good couple of years.
“But this season’s gone well and I feel I’ll be going out on a high.”
An what about Ross’ achievements on the pitch?
“I was very proud to win the Powerade Player of the Month award in League Two and it’s something I still rib the lads about,” he added.
“I scored a free kick against Gainsborough, that was nice.
“But the first game of this season at Stockport is something I’ll remember for a long time.
“To win the game and have the fans singing everyone’s name at the end was very special. It felt like being back in League Two again.”