Chris Boulter may have quit Leatherhead but he has assured Tanners fans they have not seen the last of him.
The 28-year-old agreed to have his contract terminated this week after struggling to overcome back and ankle injuries that have kept him sidelined for most of this season.
In order to give himself the best possible chance of recovery, he will now take a complete break from the game but plans to be back on the football pitch in the not too distant future.
“I am not retiring – I intend to play again whether it is this season or, more probably, next season,” he said.
“It was a difficult decision to take a break, we have been very successful in my time at the club, but I felt it was the right decision to take.
“I was feeling pressure to get back this season but it will probably be more likely next season now, so I can rest the injuries.
“My back has been the problem but that has improved a lot of late, it is more my ankle now – I did my tendons in the last game of last season and again in the first game of this.
“Although I won’t be playing, I will definitely be going down to support the boys and see a few games between now and the end of the season.”
Boulter has been with Leatherhead since the summer of 2009 and played every minute of every game in his first season for the club – when they reached the Ryman Division One South play-offs thanks to a fantastic run in the second half of the season.
He also helped them win the league cup that season and was a prominent member of the side that won promotion last season.
Although the Tanners, who travel to Lewes on Saturday after having Tuesday’s game with Wingate & Finchley postponed due to a frozen pitch, have languished in the relegation zone all of this campaign, Boulter has no doubt they will be OK come May.
“There is more than enough there for them to get out of the drop zone,” he added.
“It is always tough to get out of that situation when you have been in it for a while but results have improved – they just need to get consistency.
“There are a number of highlights from my time there.
“The first season I came when the club were down in mid-table and then went on a run to the play-offs and also winning the league cup.
“But winning the play-offs was the biggest thing as that was what we had wanted to achieve for two years.”