Prop forward Ryan MacDonald has been released from his North Wales Crusaders contract early to pursue his career elsewhere.
MacDonald, who joined Crusaders from Workington Town ahead of the 2013 season, played an important part in the club’s double success last year.
He was also an instant hit with supporters with his no nonsense approach, as they later nicknamed him ‘The Beast’.
But he has now decided to continue his career elsewhere for several reasons.
MacDonald commented: “I couldn’t really commit to the kind of hours that you need to in the Championship. I’ve also got to a stage where I needed to be honest with everyone.
“I’ve been surprised how tough the Championship is and I’m finding myself behind where I need to be at this level.
“I really enjoyed it last year with the club in the Championship One and I felt comfortable playing at that level, but I’ve tried saying to Clive this season that I’m not at it.
“I’m sad to be leaving the club, but we can’t play forever and I need a change.”
The 36-year-old thanked the club and its “family effort” during the time he has been in North Wales.
He said: “There are quality species at the club and they really help you when you’re playing.
“It really helped that we were successful in the Championship One last year – no one can take that away from us.
“Obviously I’d like to say a huge thanks to Clive Griffiths, John Fieldhouse, Adam Daniels, Jamie Thomas, Stephanie Hutchison, and everybody involved with the club who’s has helped since I’ve been here.
“It’s a real family effort at the club with everyone get involved. I’m sad to be leaving.”
MacDonald wants to continue playing – but will definitely step down a league.
He said: “I enjoyed my time down at London [Skolars when on loan] – it was a good laugh down there.
“I wouldn’t mind going back down there to play for them if the offer’s there.
“There will always probably be offers, but it’s a case of whether the offers on the table are the right offer for you or not.
“I’m definitely looking to step down a league and then I might stop playing at the end of the year depending on what happens.”
Everyone at North Wales Crusaders wishes Ryan MacDonald the very best for the rest of his career.