Connor Hughes feels the time was right to move on after joining FC Halifax Town from Hyde.
The winger spent two seasons with The Tigers after leaving Oldham, but couldn’t prevent the club suffering back-to-back relegations which have left them in the Northern Premier League.
The 22-year-old believes his contribution at Hyde during those two years was enough to earn him a move back up the league ladder.
Hughes was set to sign for another club until Halifax came calling, which was an option the Bolton-born midfielder felt he couldn’t turn down.
He said: “My time at Hyde had come to an end.
“For the sake of my career I needed to move on and try to progress.
“I had two good seasons there but the club struggled and I was more than happy when Neil contacted me to say would I be interested.
“I felt I could play higher - that’s not me being big headed, I’m not that type of person.
“I’ve played in the Conference before with Hyde and did alright.
“I’m only 22 though so I’ve hopefully got some time to improve, and hopefully that’s with Halifax.
“I certainly believe I can get better.”
Hughes is grateful to Hyde for taking him on after he left Oldham, but he admitted the experience of consecutive relegations took its toll on him and the rest of the squad at Ewen Fields.
“It was tough, mentally as much as anything else,” he reflected.
“The lads were going into games feeling like we were already going to get beaten.
“It’s hard to overcome that mentality.
“But as daft as it sounds, it’s a good learning curve and hopefully I’ll never have to go through that again.
“But Hyde gave me my opportunity to be in the shop window and they helped me progress as a player.”
Hughes joined Oldham after his old school teacher, who also worked as a scout for The Latics, sent him to Boundary Park after seeing him in an under 16s Sunday League game.
Doncaster boss Paul Dickov was in charge when Hughes broke into the first-team.
“He was no-nonsense and wanted you to give everything,” Hughes recalled. “He was very much like he was as a player.
“He gave me my début and a few other opportunities, but it wasn’t to be.”
Hughes was released in 2013, but is philosophical about the decision now.
“I kind of expected it when I was released,” he said.
“You speak to people and get an idea that it’s coming.
“Lee Johnson was the manager and he just told me I needed to go and play first-team football, which was something he couldn’t guarantee me.
“Looking back, that was the best thing for me, to be playing every week. It made me a better player.”
Hughes is confident he has plenty to offer Halifax, and is bullish about what the club can achieve this season.
He added: “I’ve got pace, I’m direct. I like to run at full-backs and create opportunities.
“Hopefully I’ll chip in with a few goals.
“Obviously wingers are supposed to create chances.
“There’s no better feeling than scoring so I will try and get a few goals.
“But if someone else is in a better position than me I’ll give it to them.
“It’s all about the team doing well rather than individuals.
“If everyone’s got the same mentality then I think we’ll do alright.
“We’ve got to take it game-by-game but I think we’ll do well.”