The appeal of a ‘different challenge’ was enough for midfielder Daniel Powell to reject a new contract at the Cobblers and move to League Two rivals Crewe Alexandra last month.
Out of contract at the end of last season, Powell was offered the chance to extend his stay at Northampton by manager Keith Curle but he turned down a one-year deal in favour of a two-year contract at Gresty Road.
I got on well with Keith but I had been there for a couple of season and you can get too comfortable so this is a new challenge and it was something I wanted to grab with both hands.
The 28-year-old scored six goals in 41 appearances – including home and away against Crewe – for the Cobblers during 2018/19 and his strong end to the campaign, netting three times in his last six matches, convinced Curle to offer him a new deal.
Powell was the only player of those out of contract to be handed the chance to stay at Northampton but he instead opted to sign for David Artell’s Crewe, who finished 12th in League Two last season.
“Sometimes you just need a different challenge,” said Powell. “I felt it was getting a bit stale for me at Northampton and I wanted a new challenge.
“I got on well with Keith but I had been there for a couple of seasons and you can get too comfortable so this is a new challenge and it was something I wanted to grab with both hands.
“It’s a fresh start. There’s a lot of young players at Crewe, a lot of technical players and it’ll help me improve as a player coming here so hopefully I can push on.
“There’s a lot of players that are good on the ball and very hard-working and technical so hopefully we can produce it on the pitch when the season starts.”
On his time so far at Gresty Road, Powell added: “Pre-season has been tough so far, one of the toughest I’ve had in my 10 years, but I’m enjoying it.
“I want to better last season and hopefully reach the play-offs. I think with a couple more in and a bit more experience, we were only a few points off last season so we have a chance.
“It’s a strong league. It was strong last season and it is again but I feel we have a chance.
“I played most of my football in League One and I want to get back there. I normally play on the left side, that’s where I’m most comfortable, but I played up front a bit last season and scored a few goals so I don’t mind playing there.”