Departing defender Shane Sutton says he’ll “never forget the feeling” of captaining Newtown in Europe after bringing to an end his nine year spell with the Robins this week.

The Knighton-based central defender confirmed his move to English National League North side AFC Telford United, citing his desire to play at the highest level he can as his motivation for the move.

“I want to try and prove myself in the English leagues,” he said.

“I want to be playing in the biggest games I possibly can, in front of big crowds. I’ve learnt since I broke my leg that it’s a very short career, and you have to play at the highest standard you can, while you can.

“It is going to be very difficult, but I find I’m a better player when I am under pressure and out of my comfort zone.”

Sutton, who began his career as a trainee with Shrewsbury Town before a brief spell with Prestigne St Andrews, was set to commit to his 10th consecutive season at Latham Park before Telford came calling, and admits it was a tough decision to leave.

“I had two weeks to think about it, and that is something I don’t want to have to do again.”

Newtown boss Chris Hughes admitted losing Sutton was a blow to the club, but paid tribute to his contribution over the years.

“We are obviously disappointed to lose Shane, he has been a massive figure for us in recent years,” he said.

“He has been a fantastic servant to this football club, and he is a big loss for us.”

Former Wales U17 international Sutton joined Newtown in 2007, and scored 15 goals in 228 games, during nine seasons with the club. He also captained the side to Europa League victory over Maltese champions Valletta in 2015/16 which eventually saw the Latham Park side bow out of the competition to Danish side FC Copenhagen in front of over 8,000 fans at the Parken Stadium.