Having signed for Haverhill Rovers, Ross Elkins has described the decision to leave Haverhill Borough as a ‘very tough’ one to make.
The midfielder made 104 appearances for Borough since the club was formed three-and-a-half seasons ago — initially as Haverhill Sports Association — and had been captain for the past 18 months.
But on Tuesday evening he officially became a Rovers player — although the decision to switch did not come easily.
He said: “It was a tough decision, very tough. It’s a higher level and it’s a new challenge. It’s a fresh challenge.
“I’m 27 and I just want to have a go at that level. That is literally all it came down to, for personal reasons.”
Elkins, who had previously featured for Rovers, has been playing with a knee injury since picking it up in Borough’s 2-0 FA Cup win at Whitton United at the end of August.
With the problem now sidelining him from playing for probably one month, knows he will be unavailable for Borough’s First Division Knockout Cup semi-final (the team’s first ever cup semi-final) at AFC Sudbury Reserves on Tuesday (7.45pm), a factor that has influenced the timing of his move.
Although admitting he is ‘gutted’ to be missing the cup match, Elkins added: “It’s a decision where I felt If I’m going to do it I might as well do it now, rather than wait and wait because that’s not fair on Borough.
“I’ve given my all for Borough over the past three years. We’ve gone from the bottom league to the Thurlow Nunn (First Division) and just missed out on promotion last year.”
As Rovers prepare for a daunting trip to Thurlow Nunn League Premier Division leaders Norwich United on Saturday (3pm), player-manager Michael Shinn exp-ressed his delight at Elkins’ capture.
He said: “I’m delighted to have him on board.
“I’m sure it was a tough decision for him, he’s been there a while. It was never going to be an easy decision for him, but he said to me he always wanted to play for Rovers.
“He obviously slipped through the net under the previous regime.
“I think it’s important to fill your team up with leaders and he is certainly one of them.”
Elkins and Ty Alleyne (hamstring) aside, Rovers have no injury or suspensions for their trip to Norwich.
Borough (eighth) are at home to fourth-placed Debenham LC in the First Division on Saturday (3pm).