United winger Nicky Adams confirmed on social media this afternoon that he was moving on from Carlisle United following 69 appearances for the Blues during his two-year stay in Cumbria.
The 31-year-old missed the second half of the last campaign having picked up a cruciate injury in the first half of the home game against Yeovil Town in November, but has been on the road back to recovery since just before Christmas following an operation to repair the ligament.
Speaking shortly before this evening’s announcement that he has joined Bury on an initial one-year deal, he told us: “I had an unbelievable time with Carlisle and I can’t thank everyone enough for the way I was treated.
“The chance came up for me to come back to Bury and that was very difficult for me to ignore. I know the manager here really well, I’ve played with him and I know what he’s about, and as soon as he said I was one of his main targets I knew it was going to be a good move for me to make.
“Bury is the club where it all started for me, it’s near home for my family, particularly with a young baby and three kids, and I’ve had some good times down here. I have a very strong affiliation with the club, so it gave me a real decision to make once I knew they were interested.
“The best way to describe it is that I’ve left one club that’s close to my heart to join another that’s also close to my heart. It’s really difficult to explain how that feels at the moment, to be perfectly honest.”
On just how tough a decision it had been to make, he told us: “I mentioned my affiliation to Bury, but I have a huge connection with Carlisle United now as well. I wear my heart on my sleeve, everyone knows that, and I’ve meant every word I’ve said about the club and the city.
“What I had to think about was that I know that Ryan [Lowe] knows all about me and what kind of person I am. At Carlisle, and I’ve had this before at other clubs where a new manager comes in, I just don’t know if he’s going to take to me.
“I know I’m not everybody’s cup of tea, I’m a ‘Jack the Lad’ type of person because I can’t help but be that way, and I didn’t want to risk it happening that I didn’t fit in. I’m at an age and I’m in a situation where I need to be playing and I know Ryan is going to give me that chance.”
“Getting back to the point, it’s been a tough few weeks since Carlisle made me their offer,” he explained. “Other clubs knew that I was a free agent and I had a number of offers come my way shortly after it had been announced.
“I wasn’t considering any of them at all. As far as I was concerned I was going to ignore all that and sign for Carlisle. I had a good chat with Nigel [Clibbens] and I told him I felt they’d made me a really fair offer. The chairman spoke to me and he made it clear he wanted me to stay as well.
“There’s no hint that I’ve done this because I’ve been greedy, or because more money is on offer. I’m just not that way at all. Carlisle were willing to tweak things more from the conversations I had with them, and I respected that.
“My first thought that I might move only came when I got the call from Bury. Some of the other offers that have come my way have been for more money but, and it was the same when I moved to Carlisle, I only do things if they feel right.
“It’s been a difficult decision to make, in terms of how much I loved my time at Brunton Park, but it’s been made easier simply because I’m going to a place I know so well.”
The popular midfielder’s relationship with the Blue Army has been one of the enduring aspects of his time at the club, with some special thanks coming their way for the chants and songs they sang on the final day of the season.
“Doing the tweet to let the Carlisle people know I was leaving must have taken three hours, because I literally didn’t have a clue what to write,” he admitted. “It’ll be strange coming back up there with another club, because I’ve met and made friends with so many good people.
“I know there’ll be one or two fans who won’t like that I’ve made this decision but that’s just football. The vast majority have been wonderful – I actually had a tear in my eye when they gave me an ovation at the last game of the season.
“Bear in mind I wasn’t even playing, so that meant a heck of a lot. They’ve been brilliant with me and I can’t thank them enough.”
“The other thank you’s go to Keith [Curle] and his staff, and all of the players,” he added. “They made it a great environment to work in and I’ve made more friends for life. It’s a great club and I’ll miss it a lot.
“It was a place I didn’t know much about when I first got here but I was just determined to do my best and to try to help the club get success. I think I managed that up until I picked up the injury, and that’s possibly why I get on so well with everybody.
“I just always try to be the best I can be but it’s a shame that the knee meant I couldn’t finish what I started. The memories I have are all good ones and I can’t speak highly enough of the place.
"I have a new challenge to face now and people do say that you should never go back to a club – well, we’ll see, because I’ve missed a lot of football recently and I can’t wait to get back out there.
“Fitness-wise I do think that if we’d got to the play-offs I’d have been very close to playing a part in the final. I have more time now to get fitter, so I know I’ll be ready to go for pre-season.
“That will have to be done properly, but hopefully I’ll build things up and I’ll be getting 90 minutes sooner rather than later.”