Dave Jones insisted it was the right decision to let Adam Bartlett leave Hartlepool United – even if it left Pools light in the goalkeeping department.
The 31-year-old quit Pools in midweek to take up a coaching role at the Middlesbrough Academy.
Barts is at the age when he has to look after his futureDAVE JONES
And within 24 hours he had signed for National League North promotion chasers Darlington.
The Pools boss said it would have been “selfish” to make Bartlett see through his contract until the summer.
“Barts is at the age when he has to look after his future,” said Jones. “He asked to leave because a job lined up and a coaching career.
“I could have been selfish and left it to the end of the season, but by then he may have lost this chance.
“I’ve had it with players in the past with me who are coming to the end of their careers. I couldn’t take that opportunity away from Barts when he could have a long future at a Premier League Academy.”
Jones seemed shocked that he had put pen to paper with the Quakers.
“If he wants to go and sign for a smaller, non-league club then that’s fine by me,” said the manager who said he was surprised he wanted to play and risk injury.
“He’s going to be getting his body smacked about so he has to be careful he does not get injured,” he said.
“That’s a decision Barts has made, I’d be a bit wary.”
It leaves Pools with three young keepers – on-loan Joe Fryer, who has impressed since coming in on loan from Boro, Ben Dudzinski and youth-team stopper Ryan Catterick. “If there are any injuries, we have the emergency loan situation we can call upon,” he said.