Fleetwood Town manager Steven Pressley says the decision to let Stephen Jordan go was an agonising one.
Jordan is set to join National League North side Chorley when his contract runs out at the end of the month.
Pressley said the decision not to hand a new contract to the 34-year-old centre-half, who started the final nine games in Town’s successful League One survival fight, was one of the hardest he has had to make throughout his management career.
The Town boss said: “I’m delighted for him – Chorley are a really ambitous club.
“He is a player we certainly considered keeping. I thought he performed really well in the team and it was a really difficult decision.
“He is a really good person to have around a club, and in that league I think he can give Chorley a great platform to push on.”
It is understood Town’s League One rivals Port Vale tried to snap up Jordan and Pressley says the location of Matt Jansen’s Lancashire club probably helped to lure the ex-Manchester City defender.
He added: “Stephen is currently studying to be a physiotherapist and we were giving him every Thursday afternoon off to continue his studies, so I think the location would have been a big factor.”
Pressley believes Jordan will be a great example to young players at Chorley.
He said: “He was one of the fittest players at our club and always a positive example to younger players.
“Whenever he was out of the team, he always kept himself in top condition, so he made sure he was always ready to take his chance when it came.
“He is a good role model to younger players and I wish him all the best.”