KIERAN Murphy and James Cullingworth have both severed ties with Boston United - but the former players are adamant they are leaving the Jakemans Stadium with nothing but fond memories.
The defenders are leaving under very different circumstances - Murphy admitting a second season at York Street would be logistically too much following his move back to his family home in London, and Cullingworth being told he does not fit into new managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville’s plans.
However, the teammates are sad to say goodbye to the club.
“It has been a great year and an honour to play for the club,” said Murphy, who was an ever-present as Boston kept a club record 10 consecutive clean sheets.
Muurphy, who made 24 appearances after his season was hampered with a fractured foot, will begin a teacher training course in Twickenham but admits York Street cameraderie was in a class of its own.
“I have been fortunate to play for a great club and with a great set of players.
“The togetherness of the squad is special and, in my opinion, played a big part towards what we achieved last season.
“I doubt I will ever experience a team spirit like it again!
“I am sure the club is in good hands under the new managers.
“I will be looking out for Boston’s results and hope the club can build on the momentum that has been developed over the last couple of seasons.”
Cullingworth - who has joined Blue Square Bet North rivals Eastwood Town - was told his contract would not be renewed at the end of the campaign.
But after a two-year stay which saw him help the Pilgrims to UniBond Premier promotion, the UniBond Cup and Lincs Senior Shield, the former Nottingham Forest trainee thanked former teammate-cum-manager Canoville for the way the news was handled.
“Unfortunately, I was not offered the chance to stay at the club under the new management duo,” he said.
“Having known Lee Canoville prior to joining the club, I feel we have built up an excellent relationship not only on the pitch but off the pitch too.
“Lee has taken the time to explain to me fully his decision to not retain my services at the club, something I have thanked him for taking time out of his busy schedule to do.”
Cullingworth - ever the wind-up merchant in the United dressing room - has angered some United fans with his messages posted on social networking site Twitter.
Comments supporting Jamie Yates’ switch to Gainsborough Trinity, plus the desire of Shaun Pearson and Anthony Church to move into the professional ranks have had some supporters spitting feathers.
But Cullingworth - whose campaign ended with a number of supporters hitting internet chatrooms to suggest he wasn’t good enough to represent the club - says his tweets are nothing more than ‘banter’ to wind up the supporters who were pointing their fingers at him.
He added: “On the Twitter front, a lot have things have been said between past and present players, which I assure you is all banter.
“Kieran Murphy highlighted why the team has performed so well and that is due to the excellent levels of team spirit and togetherness, which can be seen with our communications on Twitter.
“I may have tweeted some rash comments of late, so I apologise if I have offended anyone with my remarks.
“I will always consider Boston United highly - an excellent club who are destined for the Football League, which is an aim I believe they can achieve within the near future.
“I have worked with some excellent people and made some lifelong friends along the way who I will continue to keep in contact with for many years to come. I can look back on my time at the club with pride and honour.”