Dartford manager Alan Dowson insisted he wishes former captain Tom Bonner well at National League South rivals Havant.
The 35-year-old centre-back announced his retirement in the summer but made his Havant debut under former Dartford boss Steve King against Hampton last weekend.
Bonner had actually signed registration forms with Dartford last month as injuries were decimating Dowson’s squad at Princes Park.
But a long-term return to Dartford was never on the cards due to Bonner’s work schedule which means he can’t play every week.
Havant’s next league game is at Dartford on October 21 but it’s a match Bonner is expected to miss due to work commitments.
“I wish him well because of the servant he’s been at the club,” stated Dowson.
“I don’t know how it’s going to work as he goes away next week for a couple of weeks. We couldn’t work like that when it’s on-off, on-off.
“He got an unbelievable offer that he didn’t think he could turn down and he’s got to look after his family and do what he has to do.
“If we’d lost on Saturday everyone would have said we needed him but could I have put him in and then taken him out, then put him back in after he’s back from his two weeks away? No, that’s not for me, I can’t work like that.
“The bottom line is I wish him well and I think people are making a big thing out of not much.
“He's gone to play for his old manager, he knows Kingy and vice-versa. There’s full-time football there so maybe he can do some days. I think good luck to the lad and I hope he does well.
“Tom Bonner was excellent for me last season but I didn’t think it would be good for me, him or anybody to have him play, go away for a couple of weeks, come back and play, go away again. That’s the way we look at it.”
Bonner was potentially going to be on the bench for Dartford in their FA Cup tie against Welling last month as they were light on defensive cover.
It made sense for the Darts to bring in an experienced campaigner. In the end, there was no need to call upon Bonner’s services but Dowson still had him around the squad on the day.
“I was going to put him on the bench against Welling and I wanted him to be around it,” added Dowson.
“He hadn’t trained - he’d done one session and no pre-season but I know he kept himself fit.
“I wanted him around the changing room that day to show how important the FA Cup derby game was but that didn’t work as we got beat 3-2.
“The reason he’s been at training is because he was welcome here anytime just in case we’re short in numbers.
“Havant made him an offer to start, they made him an offer to play when he’s back and I couldn’t really do that. He was at the charity game on Sunday and we had a good chat.
“I heard stuff that he didn’t want to play for us. It’s a load of cobblers, he said that I’m the best manager he’s played for - he said it in the paper and in a text to me, so there’s no problem there.
“I can’t do anything about where he wants to go.”