Mansfield Town striker Paul Connor joins Gainsborough Trinity

Paul Connor celebrates scoring the opener

Paul Connor celebrates scoring the opener

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STAGS striker Paul Connor has been signed by Gainsborough Trinity after revealing he no longer feels able to play full-time football.

Connor, who signed in July 2010 on a free transfer from Lincoln City, has struggled to break into the first-team this season and has only made four starts and 11 substitute appearances after being a regular during the last campaign.

He will now join the ambitious Blue Square North outfit on a part-time basis to allow him to pursue his options outside football.

Connor said: “I’ve got one eye open on various possibilities after football and I want to be playing more matches at my age. “After speaking with the manager, he reluctantly agreed that this was the best decision for me and my family, and I would like to thank him for his understanding. “I’ve had a great 18 months here and will leave with some good memories. I would like to wish the club every success - it will be the first result I look out for on a Saturday afternoon.”

Boss Paul Cox said he did not want to lose such an influential player.

“I had a chat with Paul last week and he does not think he can play and train on a full-time basis anymore.”he said. “At his age it takes a bit longer to get over the knocks and niggles.

“He has got a young family and wants to explore his options outside football.

“I do not want to lose him but sometimes you have to take your manager’s head off and put your human head on and see where he is coming from.

“Paul has been honest with me and done everything in the right way and I respect him for doing that. It would have been very easy for him to just sit on his contract until the end of the season, but he is not that sort of person.

“During his time at the club he has been a model pro and a real ambassador for Mansfield Town.

“We will look at bringing in someone else to replace him know and his departure frees up some money to do that. We wish him all the very best in the future.”

Connor, who began his full-time career back in 1997 with Hartlepool, has made 307 starts for nine clubs and scored 89 goals during his long 14 year-long career.