FORMER Newport County AFC midfielder Ryan Burge has insisted that he’s not a troublemaker after his exit from Rodney Parade this week.
The 25-year-old says he was not released, contrary to the official line from the club, but opted to reject the offer of a new contract in favour of trying his luck elsewhere.
Despite that disagreement, however, Burge is adamant that he has left the club on good terms and that there was no falling out with manager Justin Edinburgh.
The playmaker, who started his career in the West Bromwich Albion youth system, did leave his previous club Port Vale under a cloud a little over 12 months ago.
Burge clashed with Vale boss Micky Adams and had his contract terminated three weeks before the end of the 2012/2013 campaign.
But, as he begins the search for a new club, he stressed that there was no animosity after he decided to part company with the Exiles.
“It was my decision to leave. The club wanted me to stay,” Burge told the Argus, confirming the story we first published on April 5 that he was in talks over a new contract.
“I appreciated the offer but I sat down with Justin Edinburgh weeks ago and told him that I was going to look elsewhere.
“Since then I have been fit but I haven’t played because the manager wanted to obviously utilise the players who will be here next season.
“But we shook hands and as far as I’m concerned I left on good terms with him and all the coaching staff.
“I’d like to thank the fans as well because I’ve had nothing but good comments from them since the weekend.”
Burge scored two goals in 17 appearances after his arrival in South Wales in August last year and he says he has nothing but good memories of his short stay.
“I really enjoyed my time at the club,” he said. “It’s been a good season and now they’ve managed to establish themselves back in the Football League I think they can really push on next season. I wish them the best of luck.”
Burge has been strongly linked with a move to newly-promoted Luton Town but says he is keeping his options open for now.
“I’ve had contact from one or two clubs but I’ll take my time and make sure wherever I go is the right move for me,” he said.
“I look forward to coming back to Rodney Parade with a new club soon.”
Burge told the Gloucestershire Echo that his preferred destination would be hometown club Cheltenham Town.
“One day I’d definitely like to play for Cheltenham because I grew up watching them and for any player to play for their hometown club is special,” Burge said.
“If you look at how far they have come over the past 20 years, from the Southern League to the Football League, it’s quite a unique club really.
“To play for them in the League, knowing where they have come from, would be great.”