Walsall FC can today confirm that defender Russell Martin has left the club after his contract was cancelled by mutual consent.
The 33-year-old joined the Saddlers in October as a player-coach and made 12 appearances in all competitions, helping the side reach the third round of the FA Cup for only the second time in a decade.
The former Scotland international has been commuting from his Brighton home for training and matches, and the long-distance travel, along with time away from his family, were deciding factors in the decision.
“The decision to leave Walsall is purely for family reasons,” said Martin. “I haven’t been seeing my kids enough since the move and they are struggling with that. I need to be with my family more.
“There has been a lot of change in my life in such a short space of time and I need to put them first and spend a bit more time with my wife and kids. I have loved working with the lads, they are a fantastic group.
“I have loved working with the manager as well, he has been brilliant. Everyone at the club has been great and I have really, really enjoyed my time here.
“It hasn’t gone quite how we would have liked but I honestly believe the lads are getting there. I hope I have added some value at some point along the way to the players on and off the pitch.
“After a chat with the manager, he agrees that I need to put my family first.”
Manager Dean Keates, although sad to see Martin depart, fully understands the decision and revealed he leaves with the club's best wishes.
“Russ has been a fantastic pro for us since he has been here, both on and off the pitch,” said Keates.
“Of course we are disappointed to see him leave but the travelling is affecting him and he is at the point now where he needs to put his family first and do what is best for them.
“I’d like to thank Russ for his efforts during his time here and I wish him all the best for whatever the next step in his career is.”