James Coppinger says his ten-year love affair with Doncaster Rovers is over.
The 33-year-old - Doncaster’s longest serving player - is looking for a new club after learning that Rovers are not in a position to offer him a new deal.
Coppinger, who last season became only the fourth player in the club’s history to clock up 400 appearances, had verbally agreed a three-year contract to see out the remainder of his career at Rovers earlier this summer - but that deal was subject to John Ryan and Louis Tomlinson’s takeover going through.
Coppinger joined Rovers from Exeter in 2004, his wing wizardry firmly establishing him as a fans’ favourite and a key man in the club’s rise to the Championship under Sean O’Driscoll and then again in 2013.
Coppinger said: “I’m no longer at Doncaster Rovers. Without doubt I’ve played my last game for the club - not through my decision.
“They [the owners] have made their decision and I respect that.
“I’ve not received an offer from them and I’m looking forward to a new challenge.
“I can totally understand what’s happened with the takeover and the chairman [John Ryan] and the owners.
“They want to go down a different route.
“They don’t want to spend the money on the players and I respect that decision.
“At the end of the day I’ve had a fantastic career at Doncaster,” he added.
“The last couple of days have been very emotional for me and my family.
“It’s felt slightly surreal to be honest - this is the first time I’ve been a free agent since I was a YT.
“But I’ve got to look forward now. I cannot wait to get a new club now, I’ve still got a lot to offer.”
Coppinger spoke to the Free Press and Star this afternoon - and had a message for Rovers supporters.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the fans,” said Coppinger
“Both of my kids were born in Doncaster and it’ll always be a special place for me and my family.
“The fans at Doncaster made it even more special for me. I’ve had a fantastic relationship with them.
“It’s just disappointing to be in this position now - especially because I feel as fit as I ever have done.
“To have had that three-year contract there too, to see out my career at the club, it’s just really frustrating.
“I genuinely feel we could’ve got promoted this year, but it’s not meant to be.
“I wish the fans well, I wish Paul Dickov well, and I wish the club all the very best.”