HARTLEPOOL United midfielder Josh Rowbotham has had his contract at the club cancelled by mutual consent.
The 20-year-old has been at the club since he was aged nine but has made just two appearances for the Pools first team.
Club officials have confirmed he has decided his future lies away from professional football and approached the club to ask whether he could be released from his contract.
Rowbotham made his debut in April 2011 against Tranmere Rovers before penning a professional deal that summer.
He was a regular for the reserves but went on to make only one more appearance for the first team, at Walsall in March 2012.
“It was a very hard decision to make on my behalf,” Rowbotham told the club’s website.
“It has been going through my head for a few months and I feel relieved now it has all been sorted – though part of me is still disappointed.”
Rowbotham added: “I have nothing in mind, there are a few opportunities I am looking into and a few career paths but I will need to have a long think about what I want to do.
“I’ll still be coming to some games and will keep in touch with a lot of the lads.
“I’d just like to say thank you to everyone at the Club and to the fans, I can’t thank them all enough.”