BRIAN Jensen is not too proud to admit he is leaving Bury with a mixture of disappointment and regret – but no hard feelings.
The 38-year-old stopper became a cult figure in his one and only season at the JD Stadium, winning his first ever player of the season awards – one voted for by the fans and the other from the Bury Times.
But those awards, dished out at the club’s end of season bash last Thursday, came just 24 hours after the club announced he would not be offered a new contract, despite keeping 16 clean sheets in 39 games since arriving in August.
Rumours immediately circulated his release was down to a falling out with manager David Flitcroft, stemming from the goalkeeper’s controversial substitution at half time at Southend, after which the Bury boss criticised his route one distribution.
Jensen was eager to quash talk of a row, saying his departure was merely down to a difference in styles.
“I asked him if he thought I had done all right when it comes to that philosophy of playing out from the back and he said I had,” said the former Burnley and West Brom keeper.
“It’s just about how he wants to play the football here next season and he’s probably got something lined up already.
“So, on that note, you know there’s no grudge whatsoever.
“We had a good chat about it, so whoever says this has happened because me and the gaffer had a row is complete and utter rubbish.
“It couldn’t be further from the truth.”
More than 1,100 Bury fans made the trip to Morecambe on Saturday to give their hero the send off he deserved. And Jensen said his reception and standing ovation after the game left him speechless.
He now hopes to continue his career in league football elsewhere, but admits regret at not following up his desire to win promotion with Bury.
“It’s very emotional,” he said.
“Obviously, I would have like to have stayed here for another season but that’s not to be, that’s the way football is.
“I’m really, really happy with the awards, especially the fans player-of-the-season award.
“It means a lot for me because for them to say they like what they have seen – it proves that I’ve actually done all right.
“But I’ve said it all the way through that the main thing for me was to prove I can still be involved in football and I’m not ready to pack it in.
“I’m really happy with my own personal form over the season, but it’s the only club I have been to where I haven’t had a promotion.
“I thought, especially with the new back four we had with Pablo Mills and Jim McNulty in front of me, that we started to build a connection and it started to work for us.
“It would have been nice to start fresh – have a good pre-season and just see where we could take it.
“So the disappointing thing is that we were never given a chance to do even better next year because obviously I won’t be there.”