Cheltenham Town can confirm that Aaron Downes is leaving the club to pursue new opportunities in the game away from the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.
The club’s Head of Academy Coaching has brought to an end a three-and-a-half year spell at the club.
Signed in May 2015 as the first recruit ahead of the #bounceback campaign which saw the club return to the Football League at the first attempt, Downes made 48 league appearances in a spell that saw him eventually retire from playing and step into a coaching role.
Downes was a pivotal part of the promotion winning side as club captain but suffered a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament injury in a January trip to Boreham Wood that ended his involvement on a playing front in that campaign.
He lifted the trophy alongside Kyle Storer as the club successfully clinched promotion to League Two and went on to make 23 first team appearances the following campaign.
He would go on to join the coaching set-up at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium working as Head of Academy Coaching and as part of the first team staff.
On leaving the club Downes said: “I’d like to thank the supporters because they’ve really accepted me and my wife to the area. Whenever we’ve been out in the community there’s been nothing but warmth so I’m very grateful and humbled by that. For me personally the support they’ve shown me has been brilliant.
“I wish the manager, the chairman and the whole football club nothing but success. They’ve been brilliant to me and I genuinely hope that they push on and have a good season this year, and next year challenge right at the top because they deserve it and so do the supporters.”
Keep an eye out on the club website and social media channels for an in-depth interview with Downes as he discusses his decision to leave, his memories from the Conference winning season, his relationship with fans, directors and staff and more, online soon.