Jake Plane signed off with a goal as FC Clacton defeated Ely City 3-1 on Saturday Picture: Rob Smith (RJS Photography)

JAKE Plane has admitted it was an agonising decision to leave FC Clacton for Thurlow Nunn League rivals Brantham Athletic.

The 24-year-old signed off with a goal - his 13th of the season - as the Seasiders defeated Ely City 3-1 at the Rush Green Bowl on Saturday.

However, the next day it was confirmed he was joining the Imps.

Plane admits it was a tough choice but an opportunity he could not turn down.

“It was a very hard decision because I’ve enjoyed my time at Clacton so much," he told the Gazette.

"Leaving a club is never easy and it's even harder when your best mate is the manager.

“I’ve known (Clacton boss) Tommy (Austin) since I was 16.

“I’ve got nothing but good things to say about the management and players and feel I’ve come on so much in my time there.

“Playing regularly and adding goals to my game has given me so much confidence. It’s helped massively.

“The supporters have always been absolutely brilliant, too.

"They get behind the team, home and away.

“I really hope they can push on in the second half of the season and definitely believe they can do that, because of the quality within the squad.

"I was just really pleased to finish with a goal and a win, on Saturday. That was perfect."

Harry McDonald and Matt Eve were also on target against Ely.

A seven-day approach had been tabled on Friday and the move was confirmed on Sunday.

While sad to leave Clacton, Plane admits he is looking forward to a fresh challenge with the Imps - last season's League Challenge Cup winners.

“Sometimes it’s nice to have a fresh challenge," he said.

“I’ve turned offers down before but something felt different this time.

“I like the idea of trying something different in a new environment, with different players.

“Hopefully I can keep learning.

“Brantham had a great time last season – finishing fifth and winning a cup.

“They’re very ambitious and hopefully I can help them kick on in the second half of the season.

“The aim will be to finish as high as possible and then win things next season.”

Plane will be reunited with former Clacton pair Louie Newland and Luke Avenell at Brantham and goes straight into the squad for Saturday's trip to Godmanchester Rovers.

However, he admits his departure from the Bowl is unfortunate timing, as the Seasiders are about to lose the services of another of their attacking players, Matt Eve.

The frontman is going travelling and his last game will be the home match against Norwich United on January 19.

“It’s unfortunate timing that they’re losing me and Matt," he said.

“But it’s one of those things and hopefully it creates opportunities for others."

Next up for Clacton is a trip to Long Melford on Saturday.