By Richard Joyce

FOREST Green defender Eddie Oshodi is taking a break from football.

A former New Lawn captain, Oshodi, 23, met manager Ady Pennock and chairman Dale Vince on Monday to thrash out a deal to cancel his contract with immediate effect.

“I’m stepping away from the game for a little while to take a break,” said the former Watford youngster, who made 127 first team appearances at the New Lawn.

“My mind wasn’t fully into football. Forest Green are looking to get promoted, get into the play-offs, and get into the Football League hopefully.

“I don’t want to be the one who’s wasting anyone’s time. I don’t want Forest Green to have a player who isn’t really fully committed.

Signed as a free agent in October 2011, Oshodi made an instant impact under the management of David Hockaday, who had worked with the defender at Watford.

In his time with the Hornets, he had made first team appearances in the Championship and League Cup.

Hh also rose through the ranks of the England youth international set-up, starring alongside Jack Wilshere and Jonjo Shelvey in the 2009 UEFA European Championship under 17 finals in Germany.

Oshodi is aiming to spend time now working in the charity sector, away from the rigours of professional football.

He added: “All I’ve known is football. I just think this is the right time to take a break, to step back and watch from the outside looking in, instead of being on the inside looking out.

“The charity work was a factor in my decision. It was a big decision. It was fully thought out, well thought out.”

He admits he will miss the many different areas of the club that made his stay at The New Lawn so special.

“I hate saying goodbye. I’m a quiet person. I like going about my business while not trying to be seen.

“I’d like to say goodbye to all the Forest Green fans. I hope for the best for Forest Green Rovers Football Club in the future because it’s a great club.

“The family feel, the community feel, the love, the passion for football – it completely changed me. It turned me into a completely different person.

“I’ve learnt a lot from the game and I’ve learnt a lot from being at Forest Green.

“I feel very privileged to have been able to serve Forest Green Rovers Football Club.”