Jamie Chandler has confirmed that he rejected the chance to stay in the Football League in order to sign with Darlington.
The Sunderland youngster is out of contract at the Stadium of Light having come through their youth system.
The 21-year-old made his senior debut whilst on loan at Darlington earlier this season and he agreed a two-year deal with them last week.
And Chandler has revealed to skysports.com that he shunned League One sides Hartlepool and Carlisle to sign for the Quakers.
"There was significant interest from both Hartlepool and Carlisle but as soon as Darlington came in with an offer my mind was made up," Chandler explained.
"People from the outside might see this as a step down, I don't see it that way, I see this as a huge challenge and a massive opportunity.
"I've got unfinished business at Darlington. I came here and worked hard and played well personally but results never really went out way.
"I am really excited and looking forward to the challenge, promotion is the aim now and I am looking forward to working with Simon Davey and Ryan Kidd, I know that they will push me and challenge me to become better player."
Chandler admits he needed to move on from Sunderland after coming through the youth ranks.
"I've had a great apprenticeship at Sunderland with Kevin Ball who has been my mentor for many years, Keith Bertschin has also really helped improve my game at reserve level whilst Niall Quinn is the nicest guy I've met in football and someone who I will respect forever," he said.
"I have a lot of friends at Sunderland and I wish them all of the best and hope that I get the opportunity to play against some of my old team-mates sooner rather than later."