Craig Carney is leaving Stockport County but believes his former team mates are on the verge of success.

23-year-old Craig has found it difficult to break into the first team at Edgeley Park this Stockport County Logo 2014season, and says County’s current midfield is capable of being one of the best in the league.

Craig said: “I’ve always backed myself, but it’s been difficult because my time at County has coincided with the team going on a winning run and they’ve built up a lot of momentum together. The manager has a settled side and has his players in mind to take the club forward now, so it’s the right time to move on. I’m sure they’ll be there or thereabouts at the end of the season.”

But Craig says he has no regrets about joining the Hatters in the summer: “Its difficult to come on as a sub sometimes depending on the state and stage of the game and make an impact to then warrant a starting berth for the next game, but ultimately i need more minutes and to be able to build up a rhythm. I always worked hard and tried to show a lot of heart, but I really do need more minutes on the pitch.”

Craig, who works as a cover supervisor in a secondary school in Lancashire, has made nine appearances this season, all of them off the bench. During pre-season he caught the manager’s eye, scoring a couple of goals, and Craig says it’s given him a hunger to play in the Vanarama League. Craig said: “I still think I can play at this level, so I will be speaking to Jim again to see what’s out there. In the short term, I’m delighted to be able to carry on playing for Phil Brown at Lancaster City where I’ve been on dual registration recently.”

Manager Jim Gannon said: “Craig has been a model professional, it’s just unfortunate for him that we haven’t been able to give him more time on the pitch. We do have a settled midfield, and I’m also conscious of the fact that we have one or two injuries clearing up with Scott Duxbury, George West and Ryan Ellison all returning to action, so Craig’s options were narrowing even further.

“We’ve got very healthy competition for places already, and we’ve also got another couple of options to consider, so the timing is right for Craig to go out and play more football. He’ll not be short of offers.”

Craig said: “Jim Gannon is the best manager I’ve ever come across in terms of his tactical nous and the way he sets his teams up. He’s very good, he has his players well-drilled and the level of detail is astounding for a part-time team.

“As a club, County is all set up for success, there are some great people behind the scenes and the fans have been superb. Even when the team is trailing in games, the fans really get behind the lads and it’s been amazing to play in front of more than 3000 fans every week.”

Jim Gannon added: “Craig leaves Edgeley Park with the best wishes of everyone at the club. He has shown fantastic fitness levels and a really impressive range of skills as an attacking midfield player. He’s a young man who has a good career in front of him.”


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