Carl McHugh has decided to relinquish his role as captain of Motherwell Football Club.
The influential Irishman has made the decision after a summer of personal reflection, after which he believed it would be both in his own interest and that of the team to pass on the armband.
Peter Hartley will be the new captain of the club, a decision taken after consultation with McHugh and other senior players.
“It’s definitely not a decision I’ve taken lightly,” he explained. “It’s been a tough decision to come to but I think it’s the right one going forward.
“But I just feel at times I wasn’t happy with the level of consistency I showed over the season.
“The captaincy was affecting me in different ways. But most importantly on the pitch, I felt my level of performance [had dropped].
“I’m quite hard on myself, to be honest, and when I analysed my season after the last few games I felt this was something that could help me moving forward, and help the team.
“I could have just carried on and stayed in the role for another season. That would have been the easy thing to do. But I think the right thing to do is what I am doing now.
“It is the right thing for me personally, which in turn will help the team and the club move forward. I believe this will help me overall, it’ll help my performances and it will help the team.
“We’re a close knit squad and Pete has always been supportive of me as captain and I’ll do the same for him. I know that Pete will go on to be a terrific captain of this football club.”
Manager Stephen Robinson and McHugh spoke about the matter for several weeks, after the player made the first approach to say he wished to pass on the armband.
“I don’t think there’s many managers you could probably speak to about something like this and for him to be as understanding as he was,” he said of the manager.
“He’s been great about it and he’s just wanted to help me and do the right thing for me and the club moving forward.”
McHugh was the first captain since the 1950s to lead the team into two cup finals and says he’s happy with the role he played, but now wants to focus on playing.
“I’ve captained the club in two finals and that’s something I can look back on and be proud of,” he said.
“I feel now getting it sorted and getting it out in the open, I can focus on the cup games and look forward to getting back to football and enjoying my football.”