'I wouldn't really say I was released' - Andy Cannon explains main reason behind his Portsmouth exit amid Hull, Preston, Charlton and Bolton links
Andy Cannon revealed his desire to return north was the main reason behind his Pompey exit.
The midfielder was the most high-profile name among the departures when the Blues announced their retained list earlier this month.
Cannon was a key player this season, scoring two goals in 49 appearances as Pompey just missed out on the League One play-offs.
The club did hold the option for an additional 12 months, which the ex-Rochdale ace and head coach Danny Cowley discussed.
However, with Cannon wanting to move back closer to home, it was agreed he'd leave the south coast.
Cannon told The News: ‘I've really enjoyed it here. I've had my ups and downs but, overall, I've really enjoyed it.
‘If it was meant to be to stay longer then it would have been, but unfortunately it isn't.
‘I wouldn't really say I was released. I had a discussion with the manager and said I wanted to get further up north to my family.
‘I appreciate the conversation and how he took it, he was sound about it. I think it was best for both of us and now I can get back home and be a bit more settled.
‘We had a discussion about it (the option) and agreed maybe it was my time to get back up north and be closer to my family.
‘I'm gutted as a team that we couldn't get promoted. I came down with the ambition to try to get into the starting line-up, which I did at times last season, and this season in particular.
‘All I wanted to do was get promoted. It wasn't meant to be. I wish we could have but, in the end, we just weren't good enough.’
Cannon arrived at Pompey from Rochdale for a fee of £150,000 in January 2019.
He featured 79 times, netting three goals, and was one of the standout performers when the Blues topped the table before Christmas.
Sections of supporters were left disappointed Cannon was not handed an extension at PO4.
That’s sentiment the tenacious centre-midfielder fully appreciates.
‘There are fans who've supported me ever since I've been down and know I always give 100 per cent,’ added Cannon.
‘That's the least you can do and hopefully along the way, I showed them what a good player I can be.
‘Now I'm looking forward to getting back up north and settling. There are a lot of things that go on outside football fans don't see and family is one of those main things.
‘I've dedicated two-and-a-half years of my life to this club and it's something I was happy to do. I hope the fans know I've given my all and fully committed myself.
‘Hopefully, this club now gets back to where it deserves to be.’