Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink says he believes there is a chance that former skipper Marc Richards could one day return to the Cobblers in a coaching capacity.
The 35-year-old called time on a five-and-a-half-year association with Town earlier this week when he left Sixfields by mutual consent, to then sign for Sky Bet League Two promotion hopefuls Swindon Town on an 18-month deal.
Hasselbaink admits it was a tough decision to allow club ‘legend’ Richards to depart, but he believes it is a good move for a player who was likely to find his first-team opportunities more and more limited as the season went on.
And he also feels it may not be the end of the relationship between player and club, especially as Richards is keen to go into coaching, and is close to completing his UEFA badges.
“Marc is a club legend, and he has conducted himself magnificently for me,” said Hasselbaink. “It is a pity to see him go, but in football everything comes to an end, unfortunately.
“But hopefully when he finishes his playing career he can come back to the club and mean something to the club in a different way.
I think somebody with his connection with the club, you always have to leave things open for the future. He has a love for the club, he lives close by, and when he hangs up his boots he has a lot of knowledge to give the younger players, so why not coach?Cobblers boss Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
“I know he wants to do coaching and stuff, and you never know what will happen.
“He has been magnificent and scored lots of goals for the club, and I can only say good things about him.
“I have a brilliant relationship with him, I respect him enormously, and it was not an easy transition to let him go, but I have to understand he got 18 months there (at Swindon) and I could not offer him another year at this moment in time.
“You also have to think about the individual as well, and I am just happy for him that he is going somewhere where he can play games and hopefully do well.
“We, as a club, as staff, and as playing staff, we wish him every success with Swindon, and hopefully he can score lots of goals, get them up, and keep enjoying his career.”
When asked to elaborate on Richards possibly returning as a coach in the future, the Town boss said: “I think somebody with his connection with the club, you always have to leave things open for the future.
“He has a love for the club, he lives close by, and when he hangs up his boots he has a lot of knowledge to give the younger players, so why not coach?
“I took a little bit longer to do it, as I had a few years out and then I came into it, and Marc might want to do the same.”