John-Joe O’Toole says he had to leave ‘a great football club’ in the Cobblers to ‘get out of my comfort zone’.
The 30-year-old announced on Tuesday that was leaving the PTS Academy Stadium after five years, and signing for Sky Bet League One side Burton Albion.
A firm fans favourite, the 2016 title winner did have the chance to extend his stay at Town as he had a clause in his contract to activate an extension, but O’Toole felt it was time for a fresh challenge.
He has put pen to paper on a two-year deal with Nigel Clough’s Brewers and is excited by the future, but he was also quick to stress how much he loved his time with the Cobblers.
“I had a lot of great times at Northampton - it’s a great football club,” O’Toole told derbytelegraph.co.uk
“I made a lot of good friends there and, generally speaking, enjoyed my time there, even though there were a lot of highs and a lot of lows.
I had a lot of great times at Northampton - it’s a great football clubJohn-Joe O’Toole
“But sometimes when you’ve been somewhere for five years, especially for someone like myself, I need to get out there, get out of my comfort zone - and hopefully I’ll do that by coming here.”
O’Toole took to social media to thank the Cobblers fans for their support over the years.
He wrote: “Thank you NTFC, been an honour to play for this football club.
“The fans have been amazing, through thick and thin, and for that I’ll be forever greateful.
“The staff too have been great through my time, so thank you all.
“I wish everyone at the club all the best in the future. Until we meet again.”
O’Toole has wasted no time in sorting out a new club, and that was something he wanted to do.
“It’s always good to get it done sooner rather than later, because the longer you leave it, the less likely you are to get what you want,” said the former Bristol Rovers man.
“Once you get to the back end of the window, you know you might take something you possibly don’t really want.
“In terms of that, I was delighted to get it done. Now I want to concentrate on getting myself ready for pre-season.”