ANDREW Boyce says he is ‘gutted’ to leave Gainsborough Trinity, and would have stayed had the club achieved promotion.
The towering centre-half (pictured) has secured a move back into the professional ranks with Lincoln City, and spoke to the Standard this week about his big move.
Boyce, who formed a vital part of Steve Housham’s defence in the promotion charge on the Northolme this season, began his career with Doncaster Rovers before being released in 2009.
Spells in non league with Worksop Town, King’s Lynn and Trinity followed, but his ambition was always to return to the full-time game.
He said: “I left Doncaster in 2009 and it was a bit of a learning process for me.”
“I dropped down into the part-time game and I’ve had to claw my way back up the leagues.”
Twenty-two-year-old Boyce spent two seasons with Gainsborough Trinity, and admitted he wanted to stay.
But the lure of full-time football was too strong: “Lincoln are a big club, and my main aim was to get back into full-time football again,” he said.
“I had my best footballing days at Gainsborough with a great set of lads, and it’s a great club.”
“I loved being there and I’m still gutted to be leaving, but they understand and they’ve been great with me.”
“If we had got promoted then I probably wouldn’t be having this conversation now, but obviously it wasn’t meant to be and we were all gutted after the play-off final.”
Before joining up with new boss David Holdsworth for Lincoln’s pre-season training on 29th June, Boyce took the time to sing the praises of his former manager Housham.
“He was great, really approachable, he was like one of the lads.”
“If you had a problem you could go to him and he had a laugh with us all, he’s a great bloke.”
The defender hopes to face off against the Blues when the Imps host Gainsborough at Sincil Bank on 28th July.
He added: “I want to play in every game but it would be nice to play in that one.”
Housham admitted he was disappointed to lose the youngster’s services, but gave his full backing to the move.
“I’d never stand in his way, it’s a good move for him into full-time football,” said the Blues boss.
“He was tremendous for me and Gainsborough Trinity and I wish him all the best, I hope it works out for him.”
The two clubs were still locked in negotiations over a compensation package for the player, as he’s under 24, as the Standard went to print.