MICHAEL WILDE has admitted that it would have been a case of heart ruling head had he signed a new deal at Chester.
The 28-year-old was forced to think long and hard about his future with an offer of a new contract at Chester on the table and possible moves to Conference Premier club Southport and an unnamed Northern Premier League side in the pipeline.
Wilde eventually rejected the chance to extend his stay at the Exacta Stadium and opted to re-join former club The New Saints - a decision which the striker believes is right for his family.
“I have had two great seasons at Chester but if I had signed it would have been for all of the wrong reasons,” he said.
“I would have been signing because of the fans and the players at the club rather than the offer on the table, which I felt was undeserved.
“Should I have signed it would have been my heart ruling my head because it would have stretched me financially.
“I have Chester in my heart, I have enjoyed every minute of the last two seasons and not playing in front of the great fans every week and playing with the group of lads they have at the club are two things I will miss.
“Making the decision not to sign for Chester meant that it was a sad couple of days, but I had to do what was best for me.
“I have fond memories from my time at Chester which I will take away, including all of the goals in the first season and the hat-tricks I scored.”
Wilde departs the Exacta Stadium having netted 46 goals from 55 starts despite an injury-ravaged Northern Premier League 2011/12 campaign.
A fractured collarbone forced him to miss a large part of pre-season, and Wilde believes he may have paid the price for that injury.
“The offer I received felt like I was being penalised for the injuries I had last season,” he declared. “It felt like the ball was in their court rather than mine and the offer was made and no negotiation took place.
“People talk about the first season in which I scored a lot of goals but I managed to get eight in 11 starts last season even though I wasn’t 100 per cent fit.”
Although he won’t be a part of Chester’s Conference North promotion bid next season, Wilde still believes that the club can challenge for a return to the Conference Premier.
“It will be a big ask for Chester next season but I am sure that there are more signings to come to fill the gap left by those leaving,” he said.
“It is unfortunate for me but players will come in who know the league and have experience of playing higher up the ladder.
“I wish the club and the fans all the best for next season and hopefully I will be welcomed back when I go and watch games.”
Wilde will now switch his attention to helping The New Saints retain their Welsh Premier League and Welsh Cup titles.
The lure of full-time football and a two-year deal proved too much for Wilde to turn down.
He said: “I am excited about the challenge that awaits the club and myself.
“It would have been a hard opportunity to turn down because it is the chance to wake up every day and play football, something which I love doing.
“The Super 12 is new to me and something I look forward to and hopefully it will be another successful campaign for the club.”
There is also the small matter of Champions League football with Saints set to take their place in the second qualifying round draw on June 25.
“I have been fortunate to be involved in three Champions League campaigns, which is set to become four this season,” he added.
“I have scored a couple of goals in the competition and look forward to having the chance to add to that tally.
“We may not get a draw as high profile as Liverpool this year but if we can get through then we are only a few games from the group stages which is a dream.”
[Tom Norris, Chester Leader]