Clach boss Jordan MacDonald revealed he hoped to keep captain Michael Finnis at Grant Street Park after the long-serving midfielder opted to leave the club.
Finnis brought to an end more than a decade of service to the Lilywhites by turning down a new deal to pursue the next chapter in his career.
The 31-year-old had been club captain at Clach and had spent the entirety of his senior career with the Highland League club. He was signed by Iain Polworth in 2009 after his release by Caley Thistle and was part of the side which won the Highland League Cup in 2014.
MacDonald has been constructing his squad for next season, with the majority of players tied up. He wishes Finnis well, but wanted to retain his services.
He said: “It was Michael’s decision. We had 13 boys out of contract, 12 of them signed their new deals. Michael decided he didn’t want it so we move on. We concentrate on the ones that are here and wish Michael all the best.
“Michael was offered a very good deal by the club and he’s made his decision. We wish him all the best and thank him for all the years that he’s been at the club. We wish he had signed his new deal, but Michael decided not to, so we’ve got to concentrate on the people who do want to be here.
“There’s no hard feelings. These things happen in football. We move on and we’ll see what’s available.”
The 31-year-old leaves a captaincy void at Clach, which MacDonald and his coaching staff will address in pre-season.
“There’s no decision on that yet,” added MacDonald. “We’ll sit down and speak about it; we’ve got a couple of names we’ve thrown about between the coaching setup and we’ll make a final decision probably when we get back to pre-season.”
MacDonald, meanwhile, paid tribute to club stalwart Blair Lawrie, who will receive a testimonial this season.
Lawrie recently signed a new two-year deal with Clach, which will take him up to 15 years of service by the time it expires in 2023.
The midfielder initially joined from Ross County in January 2007, leaving in February 2011 for an 18-month stint at Elgin City. Lawrie returned to Clach in 2012 and remains an important part of the team.
MacDonald added: “It’s well-deserved for Blair. He’s been excellent since we’ve come in.
“He’s got experience we can lean and he helps us about the place. We’ve moved him into a striker’s role and he’s very good on the ball. He’s a good talker and has the right attitude.
“Blair deserves everything that’s coming his year and it’s good for him, after all the years he’s been at the football club.”