Boss Justin Edinburgh says he believes the reason Zander Diamond is leaving the Cobblers is that the player ‘wants a new challenge’.
The Scotsman was unveiled as the Chronicle & Echo Cobblers Supporters’ Player of the Year on Sunday night after an impressive season, but was then one of five players released by the club on Tuesday.
The 32-year-old has been at Sixfields for more than three years, having initially signed on loan from Burton Albion in February, 2014, and Edinburgh feels the player is keen for ‘a new adventure’.
Diamond, who began his career at Aberdeen where he made more than 200 first team appearances, has been linked with a move back to his native Scotland.
Edinburgh admits he would ideally have liked to have kept a player who was one of Town’s standout performers in Sky Bet League this season, but that he felt Diamond wanted to move on.
“Myself and Zander sat down before the end of the season, and there was talk of a new contract,” said Edinburgh, who selected Diamond in the centre of defence for every game he managed after taking over from Rob Page.
I think from Zander’s perspective, and from talking to him as well, I think he needs and wants a new challenge, a fresh challenge, and I understand that.Cobblers boss Justin Edinburgh
“It didn’t get to where either party wanted, and I think from Zander’s perspective, and from talking to him as well, I think he needs and wants a new challenge, a fresh challenge, and I understand that.
“He has been a very good servant to this football club, he has been an excellent servant for me as manager since I have been here, but I think you have to be cautious of trying to convince a player to be at a football club.
“I think that has to come from within, and that’s nothing to do with how he has been here because he has been spot on, but I think he’s looking for a new adventure.
“I am sad to see him go, but I wish him all the best, and again he was thoroughly professional and very, very good for me.”
As well as Diamond being let go, Paul Anderson, Adam Smith, Neal Eardley and Emmanuel Sonupe were also released, while four players - Jak McCourt, Harry Beautyman, Raheem Hanley and Rod McDonald - were transfer-listed.
Diamond leaves the Cobblers having made 118 starts and seven substitute appearances for the club. and having scored five goals.