Date:Friday June 11 2010
Leon Britton says his decision to leave Swansea City to join Sheffield United was the toughest of his career.
The 27 year-old has left the club after a 7-year spell and he says his decision to leave was one he 'had to make'.
His future at the Liberty Stadium has been in doubt since last year when he rejected a new contract offer from the Swans.
Losing Britton for nothing was becoming inevitable as he had offers from Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough that we couldn't compete with.
He told the Official Site:
'It was the toughest decision of my career,''
'It was far from easy to leave Swansea, but at 27 years of age it was a move I had to make.
'After nearly eight years at the club, I felt the time had come for a new challenge.
'While I thought my performances were good at times last season, I felt they could be better. To reach the level I want I need to freshen things up with something new.
'It might not be a bad thing for Swansea either to freshen up the midfield area - the club's strength for the last couple of years - because I know players like Joe Allen and Jazz Richards are ready to step up to the challenge on a regular basis,''
Britton says he needs a fresh challenge:
'When I first arrived at the old Vetch Field in 2002, I never thought I would play for Swansea City for seven and a half years,''
'But that's been down to the people of Swansea, the players, backroom and office staff and, in particular, the fans. In fact, everyone involved with the club has been brilliant to me and made me feel so welcome.
'That's why I grew so attached to the club - and that's why I stayed so long.
'I've enjoyed my time, which has flown by, with a couple of promotions and cup successes.
'It's been brilliant to be part of it all, but as I said earlier, while it's a huge wrench to leave Swansea, I know I need a fresh challenge.''
Swansea City finished higher in the League than Sheffield United did last season, which could question Britton's decision, but he says they're looking for promotion next year:
'Sheffield United is a club that is always in and around the play-offs or promotion places,''
'They've got a massive fan base, averaging over 25,000 a game, and are looking to push on next season.
'They have Premier League pedigree and the manager convinced me they are looking to go for it again next season.
'He's looking to change their style of play a bit. He knows how I play and he wouldn't have signed me if he didn't want me to get on the ball, play and bring others into the game.''
Britton also believes the Swans can push on next season:
'Swansea has come a long way in the last couple of seasons,''
'I don't see why they can't push on as well.
'I wish the club well because the fans deserve all the success in the world. They've been brilliant with me - on and off the field - and I wish I could thank them all personally. I mean that from the bottom of my heart.''
Date:Friday June 11 2010
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