MIDFIELDER Ross Naismith has concluded a move away from the club to Strathspey Thistle.
The 24-year-old has spent almost six years at Station Park having initially joined on loan from Ross County towards the end of the 2011/12 season.
Manager Ronnie Sharp said: “It is a fresh start for Ross and we wish him all the best at his new club.
“He has been struggling to make it to training and games lately because of his work commitments with the police. And that has meant he has been unable to force his way into the team as much as he would have liked, so his decision is understandable because all everyone wants is to play on a Saturday.
“Ross feels that a fresh start at another club will be in his best interests at this stage of his career and we would never have stood in his way. He has been great to work with in the year-and-a-half that we have worked together and I would like to thank him for his great service to the club.”
Naismith said: “I am sad to go but I feel that something new is what is needed at this stage of my career. I need to be playing every week and I am looking forward to a fresh start.
“Playing at Nairn has been the most enjoyable time of my career. I have had some great times and played alongside some great players in my time here. I will never forget scoring in our 3-3 draw at Forfar in the Scottish Cup when we came back from 3-0 down and that is a game I will remember forever as will Huntly away last season, which was another game I scored in where we came back from 3-0 down again but this time won 6-4.
“I would like to thank the fans for all their support because they have been great with me and I wish everyone at the club all the best. They have done an amazing job behind the scenes to keep the standards as high as they were at the club despite having far less money. I wish them every success for the future and I would also like to thank the manager Ronnie Sharp and the Director of Football Graeme Macleod for being so professional with this transfer. They completely understood my situation when I asked to go on the transfer list and have done everything they can to help the move go through quickly.”
Naismith made four starts and six substitute appearances during his initial loan period at Nairn, scoring one goal as he bagged the equaliser in a 1-1 draw away at Clachnacuddin. These performances were enough to earn a permanent move to the club that summer following his release by the Victoria Park outfit.
His most fruitful season in a yellow jersey came last time out where he made 34 appearances – 26 of them starts, more than his previous five years at the club combined – and bagged a career high of seven goals.
Naismith leaves Station Park having made 59 starts and 72 sub appearances with 19 goals to his name.
Having also sold Gary Kerr to Rothes earlier this month, Ronnie Sharp is looking to bolster his squad with the team set to return to action tomorrow following an impromptu winter break.
Sharp said: “It is the time of year when you get a lot of names thrown at you and players all over the league and beyond are beginning to think about what they might want to do next season. We have had a look at some players lately and will continue to do that but we will only bring in players who want to fit in to the way we do things here, regardless of their ability.
“We are working hard on that - we hope to be able to add to the squad before Saturday’s game at Wick and I know Graeme is working round-the-clock to try to get a deal done.”