Billy Dunn will “always be welcome” to return to Horsham Football Club under manager Gary Charman.
The in-form attacker, Horsham’s top scorer this season, left to join Ryman Premier strugglers Carshalton Athletic earlier this week.
Dunn had been in sparkling form for the Hornets with ten goals, including a fine hat-trick against Guernsey and then the winner against Crawley Down.
“It was hard for me to take personally,” player/manager Charman admitted. “That’s because me and Rob (Frankland, assistant) worked extremely hard with Billy the last couple of months to build his confidence and get him playing well and we were reaping the rewards.
“We’re both devastated in honesty because he’s been so influential for us, but we can’t compete with the kind of money Carshalton have offered him.
“They are at a higher level so I can accept that and I really hope he pushes on because the amount of ability he’s got is incredible. Some of the stuff he’s able to do at training he hasn’t done in matches, the pitches at this level don’t suit him.
“But he’s still young and if he lives up to his potential he’s good enough to play in the Football League.”
And he added: “As long as I’m at Horsham the door will always be open for Billy.”
Revealing that the club had received around 15 seven-day approaches for players over the course of the season, Charman also praised defender Jahmahl King for staying put.
“I know the manager at Walton Casuals really well so I said he could speak to him immediately so it wasn’t hanging over us. He spoke to them as you’d expect but he told me he’s really happy here and wants to kick on at Horsham.”
And Charman added: “We’ve had so many seven-day approaches from clubs so we must be doing something right if people are interested in our players.”