FOOTBALL: JIM MUTTON revealed that making the move from Redditch United to Hednesford Town was the toughest decision of his footballing career.
Centre-back Mutton, one of the key figures in the Reds’ promotion challenges in the past two seasons, said he owes the club and the supporters a huge debt of thanks but he felt it was time for a new challenge.
He will follow former Reds boss Liam McDonald to Keys Park to join the Evo-Stik Northern Premier side.
The 21-year-old Redditch resident revealed he had turned an offer to go full-time from another non-League club but believes the chance to work again with McDonald will help push towards a future with a pro club.
“It was a hard decision to leave,” said Mutton.
“I’ve had two years at Redditch and I have to say thank you to a lot of people. I want to thank Justin Clay who has sponsored me, the Chris Swan, the chairman, and all the fans who have supported me and the team.
“But I felt I’ve done as much as I can at Redditch. I felt I need a new challenge.”
Mutton, says his decision is no reflection on Reds’ new boss Darren Byfield, who had tried to change his mind after his appointment this week.
“Darren spoke to me and wanted to meet up bit I had already shaken hands with Liam and the Hednesford chairman,” said Mutton.
“I had a few other offers but Hednesford is a big club and though they got relegated they want to bounce back straight away under Liam.”
Mutton expects a few of his Reds team-mates to follow him to the Pitmen and suggests Byfield will face a rebuilding job.
“I wish Darren all the best,” said the defender. “I’m sure he will do well. It’s going to be a rebuilding process so I think a mid-table place would be great in the first season.
“I will be going down to watch them when I can and I want them to be successful.”
Mutton, who had joined the Reds from Stratford Town, was a rock-solid figure in a Redditch defence which boasted the best goals-against record in the Evo-Stik Southern Premier.
“Getting to the play-offs was a real highlight,” said Mutton. “It was just disappointing to lose out in the way we did, on penalties.”