New Harrogate Town signing Kris Gate has said he was "shocked" when he was told Gateshead would not be offering him a new deal.
The midfielder, 27, has joined the Blue Square Bet North side after five years with the Heed.
"I was told my time was up at Gateshead and it came as a bit of a shock," he told BBC Radio York.
"I got pulled into the office at the end of the season and was told my services were no longer needed."
Gate made 41 appearances for the Blue Square Bet Premier side last season as they narrowly missed out on the play-offs.
The former Newcastle United trainee is now facing the prospect of playing semi-professionally.
"I haven't got another profession but I've enrolled on a plumbing course through the Professional Footballers' Association," he added.
"I had a number of offers from different clubs, both full-time and part-time, but the manager [Simon Weaver] convinced me that the ambition of this club matched my own."