Hinckley AFC captain Ryan Seal has agreed a deal to step up and join Leicestershire rivals Barwell for the 2017-18 season.
Having broken both the club’s leading appearance and goalscorer records in 2016-17, the captain netted a remarkable 56 times in all competitions in AFC’s record breaking season.
That understandably led to great interest in his signature from higher level clubs, but it is the Northern Premier League Canaries who have tempted Ryan into a move away from St John’s Park.
Speaking after the move, Seal said the opportunity to play three levels higher was one that he simply couldn’t turn down. He said: “I feel that I need to try and play and test myself at as high a level as possible, so this is an opportunity I can’t miss.
“Carl and his team have been fantastic for giving me the chance to play, captain and lead this great team to its first trophy and record after record.
“I’d like to thank everyone at the club. The fans have been fantastic ever since I walked in and that’s why it’s been the hardest decision of my footballing life to leave.
“I want to wish the club every success in the forthcoming season and I’m sure with Abbo at the helm it’s in safe hands.”
Similarly, Abbott said that he has no hard feelings over the skipper’s departure and was full of praise for the way Seal conducted himself during the move. He said: “Ryan has been an absolute gentleman in every aspect of his dealings over the move, and I know this decision has weighed heavily on him.
“Ryan has been a brilliant captain and ambassador, and will be sorely missed, but it is a short playing career which players must not look back on with regret.
“When faced with the task of talking him out of it I could not come up with a single plausible reason other than his affinity with the club, but quite simply he has to take this chance.
“We wish him the very best of luck. I am sorry to you all that we have lost a real star but we have played a part in the significant progression of a player, and for that we should be very proud.”
In total, Seal made 89 appearances for Hinckley, netting 93 goals over his season and a half at the club.