Moseley legend Richard Stott insists there are no recriminations, only disappointment after the curtain dropped on his extended time with the Championship club.
Just a few weeks after breaking Moseley’s modern-day appearance record with his 284th outing in the Red and Black, the king of the airways was grounded as it became clear he was no longer part of Kevin Maggs’ plans.
That brought an end to his 12-year career at Moseley – punctuated by a brief spell at Coventry – including the record-breaking start against Bedford in mid-February.
Stott played twice more off the bench in the final two play-off games, and although he wanted to continue in 2012-13 that opportunity was not forthcoming.
“Yes it would have been nice to have stayed but I am not bitter,” Stott said.
“I like Kevin, I have got on with Kevin since he has been there and he has been honest with me.
“I’d rather that than he think ‘It’s Stotty, I’ve got to keep him’ and then not give me any rugby.
“I understand the position he is in and I don’t want to stand in the way of that.
“Every player wants the world when they come to a club so you have to respect his decision.”
That decision was to bring in second row youngsters Addison Lockley and Liam Mather from Exeter and Coventry respectively.
The appropriately-named Lockley is just 20 and comes highly recommended after representing England Under-18s and Under-19s.
Twenty-one-year-old Mather, meanwhile, is a student at Birmingham University and both are able to dedicate more time to Moseley than Stott, who also has a full-time career with West Midlands Police.
That picture is reflected across the whole squad where several long time servants have left.
These include last year’s captain Andy Reay, back rower Chevvy Pennycook, centre Callum MacBurnie, wing Mike Gillick, scrum-half Ryan De La Harpe and locks Paul Spivey and David Lyons, all of whom have been at Mose for at least a couple of years. Add to that list Colin Quigley, Dan Sanderson, Marshall Gadd who spent just a year at Billesley Common, and a picture of revolution rather than evolution emerges.
Stott claims he understands that process: “You bring in a new head coach and new ideas and the timing of it last year meant he only had limited opportunity for changes,” he said,
“This year his hands are more free and the club has to back him and enable him to do what he wants to do to move it forward.
“We have been around that similar level for a few years now, trying to get into the top eight and not being able to, you could say we have to make some changes to reach that next level.
“I am sure Kevin has his ideas about how he wants to play and the players he wants to do it.
“The club have to back him in that.”
As for Stott his desire to play remains undimmed and he has vowed to continue. He has held discussions with various clubs but work and family commitments dictate how far he can travel.
Whoever he joins, though, he says he will always hold Moseley, for whom he was the 2009-10 player of the year, dear to his heart.
Stott was part of the side that won the EDF Energy National Trophy at Twickenham in 2009 and a key component of Ian Smith’s squad which brought the club back to level two a few years before. His final total of 286 appearances is three more than the previous mark set by Andy Binns and in the professional era his dozen years at one club is steadily becoming more and more unusual.
“I joined in 2000-01 season and at that stage you are ambitious and your eyes are set on the Premiership as your main goal.
“But to have played so long at such a good level is very satisfying.
“You are lucky to get that and not have injuries and to be able to maintain your form.
“We have been through so many changes and we have had so many battles it has not been easy. It’s been great to be part of a good group of people that has pulled together so often for so long. It’s been a challenging environment to come through and you cannot fault the supporters and the people at the club who have helped us.”