LEE Vaughan admitted his decision to leave Kidderminster Harriers was the most difficult of his career.
The 27-year-old right-back signed a two-year contract with League Two side Cheltenham Town earlier this week after rejecting a new deal to stay at Aggborough.
Vaughan spent four years with the Conference Premier club, making 178 appearances after arriving from Telford United in 2010.
During that time, Kidderminster came close to securing promotion after they were pipped to the title by Mansfield Town 12 months ago before losing in the play-offs.
Vaughan said: “It has been emotional and this was probably the hardest decision I have ever had to make in football. I hold Kidderminster Harriers in the highest esteem.
“Everybody involved with the club has been really good to me and always made me feel welcome.
“I decided halfway through last season I wanted to make the move into the Football League but Gary Whild threw a spanner in the works when he returned as manager.
“He’s someone you want to play for, a football man through and through, and it was difficult to say goodbye because I know he’s going to do a great job.
“It wasn’t an easy decision, there were a few clubs showing an interest, but after talking to Mark Yates (Cheltenham manager) he assured me he’s got the desire to be pushing for the play-offs next season.
“I’ve always wanted to play in the Football League but I also wanted to go to a club who are ambitious.
“The plan was always to play in the Football League with Harriers and my greatest disappointment was losing in the play-offs.
“We went on a great unbeaten run and to lose the title on the final day of the season left us a bit deflated.”
Harriers will host Shrewsbury, Birmingham City and Cheltenham in pre-season as well as visiting Littleton, Solihull, Stratford, Stourbridge, Hednesford and Stourport.
They have appointed Geoff Coles to the board as the representative of Kidderminster Harriers Independent Supporters Trust.