MIDFIELDER Alex Halloran insisted it was the “right time” to leave Portland United after 14 seasons.

Halloran, who made the decision for footballing and professional reasons, made his Blues debut as a teenager in the mid-2000s.

He went on to play in one of the most successful spells of the club’s history, winning three titles in four years under boss Gary Bailey.

Bailey’s reign included winning the Wessex League in the 2016/17 season having clinched the Division One silverware in the previous campaign.

Speaking to Echosport, Halloran felt the islanders’ current team needed to maintain a fresh feel as the rebuild under new boss Franklyn Clarke continues.

He said: “I’m 33 now and a lot of people say that’s when you’re getting on.

“I’ve been up there for so long that I’ve loved every season – I’ve been there 14 years on and off.

“The teams we’ve had over the years, with a lot of friends I’ve made, I’ve played with so many good players.

“It’s just where people have left for jobs, lives, families or they’ve gone to other teams.

“It’s just not been the same the last season and a half.

“With the new players, new manager up there it needs a revamp with youth to come through. The new management are putting their stamp on it.

“I just felt it was the right time for me to make that decision. It was my decision and no-one else’s.”

Halloran revealed he had talks with Clarke before deciding upon a split from the club.

“We spoke briefly before I made the decision,” he said.

“I wasn’t pushed and it wasn’t me saying I didn’t want to play for him.

“It wasn’t an agreement, but it just felt like it was best for both parties.

“He can bring in young lads he’s been dealing with through Dorch and he knows people locally.

“He can give young lads a chance to play for Portland, it’s a great club. The best thing for them to do is to get the young lads in who can get some experience of playing at that level.

“Then, hopefully they can stay in the league, get better and build on it.”

Asked for his fondest memories at Portland, Halloran added: “The season we actually won the Wessex Prem.

“We’ve had some great teams over the years, going back to when I was early 20s, and obviously good managers.

“That’s why I stayed there so long because it was such a nice club to play for.

“Definitely the season we won the Prem was the most memorable because the team was so good, from the starting XI to the subs.

“We had such a good squad and everyone was so happy to play together. That was my most enjoyable season, just for the achievement.

“Going from playing in the DPL, winning Wessex One and then winning the Wessex Prem after.”