BARNOLDSWICK Town were rocked this week by the departure of their popular and successful manager Danny Craig and he admitted that ambition was a factor in his departure from the Hallmark Security Premier Division side.

Having taken over at the club last season, Craig led them to a Macron Cup Final as well as their best ever finish in the FA Cup. Despite a fine run of form this spring, he also expressed disappointment at not leading the team to a top-six finish.

He went on record as saying: "Maybe my views for the club weren't realistic, in terms of where I wanted to go. But they are my views and I stand by them.

"My idea of commitment might not always be completely viable, given the level of football that we're at, but I struggled with that.

"It's probably the best time for someone with more realistic views to step in and take the club forward."

Craig was honest about the path he wanted his career to take, and he said: "I always knew I would leave at some point and I wanted to make sure that when that happened, I wasn't in a position where nobody would offer me a job because I'd done badly.

"I'm not leaving for another job, or applying for other vacancies, but I wanted to make sure that when I did leave, my credibility as a manager would be intact enough for me to get another job if I wanted to."

Signing off, Craig talked about the future of Barnoldswick's star man Zack Dale, who won the league's Player of the Year award with 18 man-of-the-match performances.

He said: "I've had a chat with Zack and it's a tricky one for him because, if he leaves, it's got to be the right move for him.

"I imagine he'll get offers from above, but he needs to go somewhere that is going to build a team around him, rather than them seeing him as an added extra and just thinking he'll get 35 goals a season.

"With the way he's playing at Barnoldswick though, there's no reason why he shouldn't stay there."