FOREST Green boss Ady Pennock has confirmed the departure of long-serving midfielder Al Bangura.

The 26-year-old Sierra Leone international, who had a year left on his contract, has been frozen out this season and his desire for regular first team football proved the mitigating factor in his decision to move on.

“Al has been brilliant for me and is a top professional and I wish him all the best,” said Pennock.

Bangura told the SNJ: “I wanted to play regularly, but the manager has got his own players and that’s football.

“I really enjoyed my time at the club and the fans were really good to me. I hope Ady and the team do well.”

Former Forest Green boss David Hockaday brought the former Watford Premiership star to The New Lawn in June, 2011 after the duo worked together at Vicarage Road.

He made 62 appearances for Watford, 16 of them in the Premier League in 2006/07, and he was voted Supporters' Player of the Year the previous season as he helped them to play-off final glory.

He had been playing for Gabala in Azerbaijan, managed by former Arsenal and England captain Tony Adams, after a short spell in the Turkish league with Mersin.

In 2007 Bangura was threatened with deportation to his homeland, but a national campaign was launched to keep him in the UK and received backing from then home secretary David Blunkett and Watford president Sir Elton John.

Bangura eventually won his case on appeal after fearing he would have been killed if he returned to his homeland.