Ritchie Humphreys has thanked the many supporters and well-wishers who have got in touch with him since he confirmed his move to Chesterfield.
The Pools legend has received a flood of good luck texts and tweets from football fans and friends everywhere and admits that it means a lot to have that backing.
And while he says he’s looking forward to playing his part for Chesterfield in the new campaign, he has accepted that it feels strange no longer being at Victoria Park.
“It’s been brilliant, absolutely amazing from both sets of supporters to be honest,” Humphreys told us.
“It does feel a bit weird not being a Pools player any more and I guess it might feel even weirder if I’m involved when Chesterfield come back to The Vic and I’m in the other dressing room.
“But that’s football – it’s unheard of really for players to stay at clubs for that length of time but I’m just so looking forward to the season and I’m thrilled with my new challenge.
“My desire is to keep playing; I don’t take for granted what a privilege it is and has been to play football for a living and I’m going to do everything I can to ensure the next step in my career is a success.
“Over the last couple of years I’ve asked the advice of lots of different people, both inside the game and also friends who I have known since school who maybe don’t know a lot about football.
“I’ve spoken to people who have already made the transition from player to coach and to people from completely different industries – and by and large the advice has been to just keep playing as long as I can.
“You can’t do this forever and two or three years down the line it may be that my body can’t do it any more but I have taken seriously my fitness and nutrition and hopefully that will stand me in good stead.
“Certainly since I turned 30 I have had to be more careful about everything I do, the game has become much more scientific and you have to live with the demands of modern day football.”
Humphreys has tasted many highs during his twelve-year stint at The Vic and he says it’s almost impossible to single out one moment as his finest.
Instead he prefers to focus on the overall experience of being involved with the Club during its most successful era.
“I can’t pick out any one thing, it’s just all good memories.
“Somebody asked me the other day whether I’d remember the people or the events more – I said people because without really good people and fans being so supportive we would never have had a day like Cardiff.
“Without such a strong dressing room and brilliant people in there we would never have got promoted. They were lifelong friends in there with a common desire to achieve promotion and that came out of the dressing room in to the stands.”
Chesterfield are among the favourites for promotion from League Two this term after an influx of new players and coaching staff.
And Humphreys is hoping there can be plenty to celebrate for The Spireites and Pools come May, and is backing Colin Cooper and Craig Hignett to do well at The Vic.
“In the coming season I just hope there is success for both clubs.
“I just wish all the players along with Colin and Craig all the best because they’re really great guys and I’m sure they’ll do a good job. I’ll be hoping they do.”