Jamie O’Hara says it became “impossible” for him to stay at Billericay as the former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder became the sixth player to leave the club in the space of eleven days.
Two weeks ago, Dean Inman left to join Kingstonian, while there were departures last Friday for Ricky Modeste, Adam Cunnington, Scott Doe and top-scorer Jake Robinson.
And while O’Hara admitted the move to leave the National South high-flyers was a “tough one” to make, the midfielder added the uncertainty around the club and Billericay’s “change of direction” left him with no choice but to head for the exit door as he seeks full-time football elsewhere.
“I had a good run at Billericay,” he told The NLP this week.
“I enjoyed it and we had a good spell. It was nothing but building since I got there and that was why I joined the club, to be part of something like that.
“But they seem to have gone in a different direction in terms of how they want to do things at the minute. For me, it was a tough one to leave and walk away but I felt it was best for me and the club that I found a new club and a new challenge.
“Football is my life and it’s my bread and butter. For me full-time is perfect as I don’t have another job. Getting up and training every day is something I love. Going full-time was never an issue for me, so that is what I will be looking for.”
Ricay’s immediate future has been thrown in doubt with owner Glenn Tamplin not present at the club and with potential new investors looking to take over, as reported in The NLP two weeks ago.
O’Hara, who joined Ricay in March 2017 amid a flurry of high-profile signings with Tamplin also bringing former Premiership greats Paul Konchesky and Jermaine Pennant to New Lodge, indicated the club’s new path as they strip the wage bill doesn’t match his own ambitions to play in the Football League.
“I think it’s pretty clear to see what is going on,” he said.
“It just wasn’t sustainable for me to stay there any longer and it was time for me to find another challenge.
“I went there to be part of the club building and to get into the Football League with Glenn. But Glenn is not around at the minute, so it was hard for me to stay there with the confusion going on.”
Now a free agent, O’Hara is targeting a move in January and says he will lace his boots up for any club as long as he feels wanted. A regular in Ricay’s National South challenge this season, he has impressed with his performances and is keen to get going in the New Year with his fitness as good as it has been in years.
“I have been playing well this season; I have been part of a team doing well. I feel fit and I feel strong. I had a couple of bad injuries, which put me on a path and set me on the level I am at, but I feel I am over those and I feel really good in terms of my fitness – so I am going to look around and see what is available.
“The sky is the limit really and I still feel like I have a lot to offer the game, and I do believe I can play in the Football League.
“I’m only 32, and it’s not like I have played 500-600 games, so I have a lot in my legs in terms of where I want to be.”
Despite the mass exodus of players, Billericay won back-to-back league games on the road last week at Eastbourne Borough and Bath City to climb to second in the table, although they suffered a 2-1 defeat at Hereford yesterday to crash out of the FA Trophy.