FORMER Barrow AFC defender George Ray says he wishes the club nothing but the best despite being released at the end of the season.

The centre-back was hoping to extend his stay at Holker Street for another term, but says there are no hard feelings.

Speaking to BBC Cumbria, Ray said: “I wouldn’t say I was expecting it (being released), but look that’s football, ups and downs.

“You can’t expect anything in football, and unfortunately I’ve not been offered a new contract with Barrow.

“I was loving my time at Barrow, it’s a great place and I’ve not got a bad word to say about the place. I would have signed another year there, but like I said that’s just football.”

He also had a message for the Bluebirds supporters.

He added: “Thanks for all of your support. Honestly, I’ve not got a bad word to say about anyone at the place and it’s been a good ride the last two years, and honestly, I’ve absolutely loved it.”

Ray admitted it was disappointing that the club came up short in its pursuit of a League Two play-offs

“I’ve always given 100 per cent every time I have played for Barrow and we can be proud as a player and as a club of our last two finishes in the last two seasons,” he said.

“Just disappointing this year not to quite get over the line with the position we were in for most of the season.”

The 30-year-old said he was unable to find the exact cause of what led to things going wrong for Pete Wild’s men, but believes that overall the picture is a positive one.

“We thought we could have done it,” he said. “We were very disappointed as a squad in the end.

“You have got to try to take the positives out of it. We’ve had a good season all in all, with just a poor back end. A poor last month that didn’t quite get us over the line.

“It’s hard to put your finger on things sometimes. You just end up in a rut. Clubs go through the season and they have these spells. Ours probably came at the wrong time and went on a little bit too long.

“I can’t put my finger on where it went wrong, but as a squad and a club we were disappointed with it.”

Despite missing out on the play-offs this time around, Ray believes the only way is up for Barrow, adding he hopes they can go one better next season.

He added: “Barrow have only been back in the footy league a few years, so to be where we are now, the club are on an upward trajectory, and I hope it carries on for them that way.

“I hope they get the signings in and push on again next year.

“I wish the best for Barrow. I hope they carry on and I hope they get the play-offs next year. It’s been looking good the last two years, so hopefully they carry on, get to the play-offs and get up.”

As for his own future, the player says nothing has been forthcoming as of yet.

“It’s a tough one really,” he said. “Obviously I’ve got a baby on the way in 10 weeks, so it would be nice to get something sorted, but I’ve been in this position before, so I’ve had a bit of experience with it.

“We’ll just see what’s out there. What’s right for me, what’s right for the family and we’ll just crack on from there.”

Ray said scoring against Bradford City was one of the highlights of his time with the club, and added he had made some good friends as well as memories during his spell with the Bluebirds.

He said: “Going to Bradford, a big crowd, getting the winner late in the game and celebrating with all the fans is probably my favourite moment at Barrow.

“The lads were absolutely fantastic. You don’t usually keep in contact with many people when you leave clubs, but I will definitely be staying in contact with a lot of them.

“Yeah, look I’ll miss that, I’ll miss that dressing room, but that’s just football. You move on to new dressing rooms and then it will all be forgotten about in a couple of weeks.”