After eight seasons and 198 goals in 214 appearances at West Wratting, prolific striker Danny Hill has finally been tempted away.
The 27-year-old is among eight players to have joined Haverhill Rovers in the past week - but he is arguably the most exciting new recruit of all.
Hit man Hill has never before played in the Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division, which is two levels higher than Wratting’s division, the Kershaw Premier, but having rejected overtures from other clubs in recent years believes the time was right to step up.
After praising Wratting (and former Haverhill Rovers) manager Michael Shinn for not pushing him to stay at Bull Lane once Rovers manager Ben Cowling made the approach for him, Hill said: “I have always wanted to move on and go higher.
“Wratting have been brilliant to me over the years, the management, players and the board, they’ve always been superb for me.
“It was hard for me to get away.
“The players that Ben (Cowling) told me he was getting in really excited me, that was another reason why I decided to give it a go.
“It was just one of those decisions. It was the right time to make it.
“I wish Wratting all the best of luck. I hope they go on and win something this season.
“Everyone was really supportive. I couldn’t have left on better terms.
“I don’t know too much about it (the Thurlow Nunn Premier) but I feel confident in myself and hopefully I will carry on the form I’ve had at Wratting at Rovers.”
Hill was the Kershaw Premier’s top scorer in 2012/13 (32 goals in 29 appearances) and second top scorer the following year (36 in 36).
Apart from last season, when he missed six months with a ruptured Achilles and 2010-11, when he had knee surgery, Haverhill-based Hill has been among the division’s top six highest scorers for the past seven seasons.
In addition to signing Hill, Rovers manager Cowling has returned to his former club, Haverhill Borough, to sign their captain and defender/midfielder Harry Halls, defender Ryan Geoghegan, goalie Charlie Turner and midfielder Jonny Milne.
Also returning to Rovers for further spells (Halls and Geoghegan also previously played for Rovers) are midfielder Ross Elkins and striker Ryan Weaver, who both ended last season at Halstead Town and defender Sam Holmes, who has returned after one season with Haverhill Rugby Club.
Cowling also confirmed that youngsters Rory Jebb and Mitch Burr have re-signed for Rovers, as has club stalwart Marcus Hunt and Luke Haines, who ended last season as first team captain.
More re-signings are expected to follow, while a couple of other players are also training with the club at the moment and could potentially join and a ninth new signing, an attacking midfielder, is expected to be confirmed imminently.
Cowling said: “I’ve attempted to sign Danny for the last three or four years so I’m delighted he’s finally decided to make the step up and I’m excited to see what he can do, especially with Ryan Weaver, Rory Jebb and Mitch Burr as attacking options going forward.
“What we’ve got is a really good group of local players.
“We’ve got a brilliant base already to work with at this point in pre season.
“If we went into the season with the players we’ve got already I would be more than happy.”