Chorley boss Matt Jansen says letting Jason Walker go was one of the hardest decisions of his managerial career but one that will hopefully boost his quest for a new striker.
Walker, 34, scored the only goal in the 1-0 win at Stockport that fired Chorley to their National League North play-off semi-final at Harrogate.
Now that controversial 2-1 defeat in Yorkshire will be Walker’s last game for the Magpies. But as he departs Jansen says the ex-York hit-man’s exit will help him secure his number one target – a new forward.
He said: “Jason has been fantastic.
“It is with a heavy heart that we let him go and it was the hardest decision of the lads who have left.
“But we need to look to the future and to do that we have to make tough decisions.
“To bring people in, people have to go, it is the nature of the game at every level.
“I am sad to see him go but a new striker is now at the top of our priorities.”
Chorley had the second-meanest defence in the league behind the side Harrogate beat in the play-off final, Brackley.
And though goals are at the forefront of Jansen’s mind for next season they are also looking for a new goalkeeper. Fleetwood Town shot-stopper Matty Urwin has returned to the League One club after his successful loan stint.
But Jansen says the door is still open for Urwin and another departed keeper Sam Ashton.
Ashton joined Walker, Adam Roscoe and Kieran Charnock in departing the club.
Jansen said: “We’ve kept hold of the core of the squad and all of the players have left on good terms.
“We are looking ahead to the new season now and adding a few new faces to the nucleus that has helped us punch above our weight.”