Tom Sherlock has admitted that quitting Newcastle Eagles was one of the hardest decisions in his life.

In an exclusive interview with the Chronicle, the player affectionately nicknamed “King” has revealed how he agonised over the decision to depart in a move that shocked the club’s supporters.

“I guess the fans are owed some kind of explanation as it is a little unfair that on them that they have been wondering why I have left,” explained Sherlock.

“As an athlete, I was not happy sitting on the bench, although this was more from a frustration at not being able to contribute, rather than just being selfish.

“I actually toiled over whether I was making the correct decision or not, but at the end of the day, if you don’t think you will play for whatever reason, then sometimes it’s best to leave.

“Obviously I want to improve as a player, but I truly feel that those biggest improvements will only come on the court rather than just in practice sessions at this point in my career.

“A few other factors did weigh into the decision so it wasn’t just that, but it was the main reason.”

Despite quitting, Sherlock bears no malice towards the club and is adamant that he still holds managing director Paul Blake and player-coach Fab Flournoy in high regard.

“As far as me, Fab and Paul are concerned, we are still all friends and basically I have left on good terms,” he added.

“It was great to come up to the North East for a while and play for the best club in the BBL, but everything comes to an end at some point.

“Everyone should know that I really enjoyed playing for Newcastle, but sometimes you have to make tough choices.

“I know that, as usual, the Eagles are going to challenge for everything domestically and I feel that the only teams who can challenge them are Scottish Rocks, Plymouth Raiders and Guildford Heat.

“What the Eagles have in abundance is talent and experience which will limit mistakes in the big games. I see them losing as few as four more games this season in the league if the roster remains the same.”

Sherlock is currently putting all of his efforts into playing for his hometown club Derby Trailblazers in the EBL but hasn’t ruled out a return to the BBL or even realising his aspiration to find a club in Europe one day.

“People have asked why Derby? But why not? I’m from there and they needed help quickly and I can help them in lots of ways on and off court,” he said.

“We are actually going to be reasonably good as we have Dave Attewell, Stedroy Baker and Karl Pearson, who all have some BBL experience.

“I certainly feel that I am capable of playing in Europe, but it would have to be the right situation.

“And as far as BBL goes, I am interested in a return but obviously I am happy to be pursuing other things in the short term.”