CURTIS TILT is putting his future to one side as he targets promotion to the Football League.
Tilt was allowed to leave Wrexham in March and join Forest Green on loan until the end of the campaign, with manager Dean Keates revealing that the centre-back had indicated he would not be signing a new deal to keep him at The Racecourse next season.
Forest Green are just 90 minutes away from clinching a place in the Football League for the first time in the club’s history as they face Tranmere Rovers in the National League play-off final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.
Trying to clinch promotion comes first before Tilt considers where he will be plying his trade next term.
“I am not really thinking about next season,” said Tilt. “I am just focused on getting promoted with Forest Green and having one last push at Wembley.
“I have never had the chance to play at Wembley before, although I have been there a couple of times.
“I am looking forward to it and it should be a good day.
“But the main thing is to get promoted so it is an even better day.”
A number of clubs showed an interest in Tilt following a series of impressive performances but a move away from Wrexham did not materialise during the January transfer window.
Tilt, brought in from Telford United last summer, went on to make 36 league appearances for Wrexham, activating a clause that would lead to the offer of a new contract.
But the 25-year-old didn’t have a deal on the table.
“I was never offered a deal to turn down,” said Tilt. “I triggered a clause in my contract but we never sat down to talk about next season.
“I think there is going to be interest from clubs higher in the league, the gaffer said he didn’t think I would be at Wrexham next year and to go and get a promotion on my CV.”
Tilt admits the switch to Forest Green came out of the blue, but he jumped at the chance to move to The New Lawn where he has made seven appearances.
“It was a surprise,” said Tilt.
“I think I trained on the Wednesday with Wrexham and was having treatment when the gaffer called me in.
“He told me Forest Green wanted to take me on loan for their promotion push, it had been accepted and I could go, and it was all in my hands.
“The gaffer gave me the all clear to go because Wrexham were not playing for anything, so for me it was a ‘no-brainer’ to go to Forest Green and challenge for promotion.”
Tilt had spells with Halesowen Town and Hednesford Town before spending the majority of last season playing for Telford in the National League North.
Gary Mills brought Tilt to Wrexham and the defender is indebted to the former Wrexham manager – now in charge at relegated York City – for giving him the chance to become a full-time footballer for the first time in his career.
“Gary signed me for Wrexham and we played them the other day when York got relegated,” added Tilt. “I thanked Gary and Darren Caskey for giving me the opportunity to play professional football.
“It was an up and down season at Wrexham but I enjoyed every minute.
“I want to thank the fans and everyone behind the scenes who always tried their hardest to keep everything professional and keep everyone happy.”
Tilt might have played his last game for Wrexham, but left-back James Jennings could be back at The Racecourse next season.
Jennings joined Wrexham on loan from League Two outfit Cheltenham Town in January and made 15 league appearances for the Reds.
Cheltenham yesterday announced their retained list and Jennings was one of 11 players released after finishing 21st, four points above the relegation zone, in their first season back in the Football League.
Jennings joined Cheltenham last summer from Gloucestershire rivals Forest Green but only made five appearances before going out on loan to Morecambe and Wrexham.
Keates said he would hold talks with Jennings once a decision on his future at Cheltenham had been made.
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