AS Rotherham United and their nine new signings began pre-season preparations, former skipper Ryan Cresswell was packing his bags and heading for League Two rivals Southend United.
The Rotherham-born central defender was one of three players - Danny Schofield and Jamie Annerson were the others - told they were being allowed to leave.
“I’m sorry to be going because this is my club, the one I supported as a boy, and I’ve loved being here. The fans really have been fantastic with me,” said Cresswell who joins Paul Sturrock’s side subject to a medical tomorrow.
“It will be a big disappointment not being able to lead the team out at the New York Stadium, something I’d been looking forward to, but hopefully I’ll get chance to play there next season.”
He admitted he was “disappointed” when told he was being let go as he believed he had a future but he added: “There’s been bigger shocks in football.”
The one-time Sheffield United youngster went on: “I’ll leave with some really good memories and some cracking times.”
Not least last-minute winners against Cheltenham and at Accrington, a personally emotional moment following the death of his grandfather who he was particularly close to.
His parting shot: “I really would like the Millers to go up and a double promotion would suit me fine.”