EVAN HORWOOD admits it was a ‘strange experience’ facing Chester just days after leaving the club for Bala Town.
The 31-year-old defender agreed with boss Jon McCarthy to terminate his six-month contract with the Blues last week, and was quickly snapped up by Colin Caton’s Welsh Premier League outfit.
The vastly experienced left-back will now explore new career opportunities alongside playing for the Maes Tegid club, who he lined up for in a 3-1 pre-season friendly defeat against McCarthy’s side on Monday night.
With a young family to now provide for, Horwood had concerns regarding only being handed a six-month extension to his deal with Chester, rather than the security of a year-long deal.
Asked if it was a strange experience facing the club he’d left just four days earlier, Horwood replied: “It was a bit, but at the end of the day I’m getting paid by somebody else now and I’m there to do a job, and that’s what I tried to do.
“I told the gaffer early doors that I was thinking about doing this and it’s given me the opportunity now to have a new challenge, not train as much, have one game a week and get another career under my belt.
“I know it’s only early doors but in the next couple of years I think I’ll look back on this as one of the best decisions I have ever made.
“If I’d left after six months then where would it leave me? This has given me the opportunity to go out there and get a good job and more importantly, maintain my career and keep it going.”
Horwood, who made 22 appearances for the Blues last term, became fully immersed in the community aspect of Chester’s off-field work, coaching teams at the University of Chester, hard work which was recognised at the National League AGM and helped secure the Blues a £5,000 grant for their efforts in the local area.
“I loved it at Chester, especially all the staff. There is a small army of people there who work for nothing who I absolutely love and you know how much I enjoy the community work,” he continued.
“The gaffer has been absolutely class for me and I wish I would have had him 10 years ago as my manager. I am actually a fan now, I really am, because of the background that goes on at the club, it’s fantastic. I couldn’t say a bad word about the people at the club.
The defender, who counts Hartlepool, Carlisle and Tranmere as just a handful of his former employers, fully believes Bala can push for honours this season in the highest tier of Welsh football, having finished third last season and bagged a Europa League spot, losing 5-1 on aggregate against FC Vaduz in the first qualifying round earlier this month.
“It’s not a step back by any means, it’s so I can maintain my career and go longer,” he added.
“I’m really impressed by Bala, I think there’s a lot of characters in that dressing room and I think we’ve got a good chance of doing something this season.”
See full story in the Chester Leader