Sam Walker has described his decision to sign for Halifax as a “no-brainer” after joining the club from Curzon Ashton.
The all-action midfielder captained the club to consecutive promotions over the last two years as they rose through the non-league ranks to the National League North.
But the 28-year-old, who played with ex-Town defender Liam Hogan at Woodley Sports, believes the time was right to move on.
“I’ve just turned 28 and I feel like I’m just coming into my prime,” he said.
“I suppose I could have easily just stayed where I was or floated around at Conference North level and let things peter out.
“But this seemed like the next step for me.
“I spoke to Liam Hogan and he had good things to say about Neil and that he could help me improve.
“There were three or four other clubs interested and I’d briefly spoken to a couple of them.
“The third club I spoke to was Halifax and after speaking to Neil my mind was made up.
“Everything he had to say sounded right to me so it was a no-brainer.”
Walker turned down a better deal at Salford, who are part-owned by former Manchester United stars Gary and Phil Neville, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs and Nicky Butt, to join The Shaymen.
“I was very impressed with Salford and how ambitious they are, and was offered a lucrative deal, but I wanted an opportunity to play at the highest level possible and it wasn’t about the money for me,” he said.
“I had offers from other Conference clubs as well, but Halifax was always my first choice.”
Walker played under Town’s chief scout Gareth McClelland at Woodley and featured in a 1-0 win at The Shay in 2009.
Walker was released by Oldham as a teenager before playing for the Cheshire FA, where he was spotted by Woodley before spending four years at Curzon.
“It couldn’t have gone any better,” he reflected.
“A lot of people had written us off when we got into the play-offs but we managed to have one last push.
“It was a good mix. There was a lot of hard work involved.
“We were well organised and reiterated the same things such as playing the right way and moving the ball fast.
“I think we surprised a lot of people but I don’t think we surprised ourselves.”
Walker feels he is far from the finished article and is relishing he chance to test himself at the highest level of the non-league game.
“I feel I’ve got some improvement still to do,” he said. “It’s just a case of adjusting to this level.
“I want to score goals. I set myself targets every season and I’d like to get into double-figures or be knocking on the door.”