Brakes boss Paul Holleran admitted he did not take much notice when a seven-day approach came in from Corby Town for Stephan Morley.
So it was something of a shock last Thursday afternoon when he received a call to tell him his captain and left-back had opted to make the move to the Steelmen.
The offer of a dual playing and coaching role at the Southern League Premier Division side persuaded Morley to call time on his Leamington career and Holleran said it was an package they could not hope to match.
“We got a seven-day approach and I didn’t take a lot of notice,” said Holleran.
“Clubs often put seven-days in and a lot go by the wayside.
“But Stef has decided to go down a different path. He has just started working for a coaching company around Leicester and Corby were trying to get a decent left-back and it was a double offer.
“It’s a decent job and he’s decided to take a step back.
“I’m still not sure to be honest - he’s always wanted to play at as high a level as he can and it’ll be a culture change to drop back down.
“He’d just got back up to the levels of the back end of last season and it’s bitterly disappointing to lose him.
“But it’s something he felt he couldn’t turn down.”
Morley was denied a debut for his new club on Saturday when their match at Slough was postponed due to a frozen pitch.
However, speaking to the club’s official website, he said it was manager Tommy Wright’s vision which helped him make the switch, which will also see him take on the role of assistant manager within the club’s Academy set-up.
“I spoke to the gaffer and he sold it to me with the ambition of the club, the position they’re in at the minute,” said the 27-year-old. “And just going forward for the future, it looks bright for the club.”
Brakes moved quickly to replace Morley, with Connor Gudger brought in from Worcester City in time to play in Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Harrogate Town.
The former Sky Blues youngster found opportunities hard to come after joining Leamington’s Conference North rivals in the summer but Holleran says the former Tamworth defender is someone who has been on his radar for a while.
“Connor’s a player we looked at last season,” said Holleran.
“In the summer we thought about making a move, but his best position is left-back like Stephan and we have to be able to carry players who can play in two or three different positions.
“I thought he’d be a decent signing for Worcester because at the back end of last season at Barwell he was excellent.
“It hasn’t quite worked out for him but that happens to a lot of players and at 22 he’s desperate to do well.
“Sometimes players just need to be in the right environment and get a run of games.”