DARREN JONES has quit Forest Green with Hereford leading the chase to sign the out-of-contract Rovers captain, writes Ashley Loveridge.

Jones, 25, said: “I have had some good times at Forest Green , but the time is right to move on and take up a new challenge.”

He began his career as a professional trainee for Bristol City, making one Football League appearance before joining Forest Green in September 2002. He was loaned to League Two side Cheltenham Town in 2003, where he made 14 league appearances.

He dropped down in to non-league football and signed for Newport County on a free transfer in early 2004, before returning to Forest Green for a second spell in March 2006.

Jones was a pivotal part in keeping Rovers in the Conference on his return to Forest Green and was a central part in the defence when Rovers recorded their highest ever finish of eighth in the 2007-08 season.

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Ryan Robinson insists his switch to Bath City will be a ‘new chapter in his life’ following his release from Forest Green.

Cumbrian Robinson, 26, made 51 Blue Square Premier appearances in two seasons following spells with Blackburn, Southend, Morecambe and Southport.

He started last season as number one for Jim Harvey’s side, but was ousted by rival Terry Burton.

However, Robinson is relishing the challenge after an up-and-down season at the New Lawn.

Robinson said: “This is a new chapter in my life and I am looking forward to getting started at Bath.

“I was disappointed to to be in-and- out at Forest Green and I didn’t agree with Jim Harvey’s decision to take me out of the team - but that was his choice.”

Robinson will have to adapt to a new regime of part-time football.

He added: “Bath are a part-time club with a full-time mentality and have massive potential.”

Manager Adie Britton said: “We had 10-12 goalkeepers interested in signing for us, including some very interesting names, and narrowed it down to two.

“Ryan has a great pedigree, has been a pro all his life and was Forest Green’s first choice for most of last season. We’re delighted to have him.”

Elsewhere, Terry Burton has nailed colours to the Forest Green mast by revealing he is keen to put pen to paper on a new deal despite overtures from other clubs.

“A couple of clubs have expressed interest through my agent, but I am keen to sign a new deal and expect everything to be sorted next month.”

Burton, who will be embarking on his third season at the New Lawn, pointed to the Harvey factor for his reason to remain with the Blue Square Premier outfit.

“The gaffer (Jim Harvey) gave me the opportunity at this level and I will be sticking by him.”

Burton is confident Harvey will work his magic next season. He added: “The gaffer has done it a number of times and will do it again - you only have to look at what he did with Stuart Fleetwood and Andy Mangan.”

Forest Green have begun their planning for next season by offering new contracts to six of their squad. Harvey is hoping to hold on to leading scorer Andy Mangan, Paul Stonehouse, Conal Platt, Jonathan Smith, Ben Ashford and Mark Preece.

As the six are all aged 24 or under, Rovers will be entitled to compensation from the buying club if they move on.