Clarke Carlisle says the ‘under the radar’ nature of his permanent move to the Cobblers left him with an anti-climatic feel when the move was eventually completed.
The central defender signed an 18-month deal at Sixfields a week ago following the completion of his second loan spell with the club.
The first culminated in a successful battle against relegation out of the Football League and the second has involved a sustained effort in the race to be promotion to the third tier of English football in manager Aidy Boothroyd’s first full season at the club.
When he was first signed in January, Carlisle made a huge impact on a struggling side with his ability to lead and inspire those around him, and this season his arrival has been viewed as a statement of intent at Northampton.
But despite the high-profile nature of the acquisition - Carlisle is the chairman of the Professional Footballers’ Association and has a substantial media profile - the deal, when it was done, almost passed unnoticed due to the fact it had been pre-planned some weeks in advance.
“It has passed without any real furore because we knew this was going to happen and we’d had this planned from when I came down on loan,” he said.
“It was the whole reason why I came down on loan. The legalities of it meant we could only release it and do all the paperwork once I’d left York.
“I had a conversation with the gaffer here in the middle of November after a conversation with Gary Mills about his intentions for me, and he said I could speak to other clubs.
“So it was a bit anti-climactic for me but I’m delighted to have it all done and dusted.
“There are no worries about my future and I know I’m joining a successful club.”
The length of the contract gives Carlisle security for the future and puts an end to thoughts the player had in the summer about his retirement, when he was planning a career in the media.
Having already been a key figure in the club’s recent history, the 33-year-old wants to start his permanent career at Sixfields with immediate success, and promotion to league one this term.
“I have no doubts the team will be successful this season,” he said.
“The confidence and performance levels, the results that we’re getting and the apprehension in opponents is all so very different to last season and quite rightly so because Aidy has compiled a squad here that is everything you need to be successful in this division.
“It is strong, organised, it has pace and flair in the right areas and now we’re starting to put a run of consistent results together that the group is worthy of.”