KARL Ready's love affair with Aldershot Town is over.
The former QPR and Wales international made an emotional exit from the Rec on Thursday to resume his professional career — possibly in Major League football in the USA.
Ready joined the Shots in a temporary deal in early September having been freed from his £500,000 contract at Motherwell in the Scottish Premier League.
He was only expected to play a handful of games for the Shots before re-joining the professional ranks, but Ready agreed to two short-term extensions and ended up making 16 appearances while guiding the Shots to the top of the Ryman premier division. But now with his fitness up to scratch and Jason Cousins back from injury, Ready feels the time is right to branch out and pursue a career at a higher level.
Boss Terry Brown completed one of the biggest coups in the club history top bring Ready to the Rec, and remains his biggest fan.
He said: "Karl has been absolutely fantastic. The move was always going to be temporary but he wanted to go back into professional football once he was match fit.
"Now he feels he is match fit, and with Jason being back from injury, he feels the time is right. I personally would like to thank Karl for playing for us and helping us get to the top of the league. He is going to be a big loss to us as it will be very difficult to go out there and find someone of the calibre of Karl Ready."
Ready's departure, coupled with Saturday's day-off, gave Brown and his assistant Stuart Cash the opportunity to embark on scouting missions on Saturday with both running the rule over possible replacements.
While Brown was being naturally coy about any one identity, he did admit that one watched an FA Cup tie and the other a league game.
As the management team were out and about, the Shots players enjoyed a hard-earned rest, with some looking to nurse injuries and illness in time for this week's action.
The strike force of Roscoe D'sane and Paul Moody have obviously spent too much time together as both have caught the same virus, while Anthony Charles (hamstring), Lee Charles (back), Dean Hooper (ankle) and Nick Roddis (hamstring), will all use the time available to rest their individual knocks.
But one player in line for a return to action this week is Adam Parker, who has reacted to his transfer-listing in the best possible way by impressing Brown with his attitude on the training pitch.
Despite receiving three or four offers of loan moves, Parker has significantly upped the tempo in a bid to salvage his career at the Rec and is expected to start in tonight's Bryco Cup tie at Cheshunt (ko 7.45pm).
Brown said: "I've been delighted with Adam since he was put on the list. The reason that happened is because I wanted more goals from midfield. If Adam can provide that then he will be in contention. The door is not closed on him by any stretch."
Brown has said he will pick his strongest possible team for tonight's cup tie, although both Charles' and Hooper are likely to miss out and return for Saturday's crucial trip to high-flying Hendon (ko 3pm).
Brown will monitor D'sane and Moody today, and that could give youngsters Jamie Taylor and Michael Harper another chance to lead the front line. Those who do not feature tonight will be included in tomorrow night's Capital League reserve team game against Yeading.