HARRISON Chatting says he needed a new challenge after deciding to end a five-year stint at Canvey Island.

The midfielder from Langdon Hills will be playing his football elsewhere next term, having joined the club from Billericay Town in 2012.

And Chatting, who played 231 games for the club and scored 20 goals, says, despite relegation to the Isthmian League last year, he takes plenty of fond memories with him.

“It was my decision,” he said.

“Towards the end of the season it was tough for everyone at the club but I did find it difficult.

“I was thinking whether we stayed up or not that I was going to leave. I spoke to (manager) Dan (Heale) last month and he wanted me to stay but I was honest. It has been a difficult few years.

“I heard about Dan’s plans and it sounded good but the following week I made my decision. But Dan and I depart as friends which was important to me.

“I have some fond memories,” he added.

“The fans were brilliant and the facilities are great for an Essex non-league club. It is nice to play your football on that pitch.

“I take so many positives away with me but I just wanted something new.”

The hard-working Chatting will not be short of suitors following his exit.

He made 34 starts last season, and 12 appearances from the substitutes bench, with only George Sykes and Ashley Dumas playing more games.

And he said he has already spoken to several clubs - in the Isthmian Premier and North - and will continue discussions when he returns from New York City next Thursday.

“I wanted a change,” he said. “It is time for something new and I want to freshen things up.

“I have spoken to a few clubs and met with one last Thursday. I didn’t want to rush into anything.

“I come back next Thursday and once I’m back I will sort something out.

“I will see what the clubs’ ambitions are as that is the main thing. I want to look upwards and push for a play-off place or a title win.”

A club spokesperson said: “We would like to thank Harrison for his exceptional contribution over the past five years and wish him the very best of luck for the future.”