WEYMOUTH captain Kyle Critchell made a dramatic switch across the Ridgeway to rivals Dorchester Town last night.
The Terras’ captain has been snapped up by the Magpies on a free transfer after his two-week notice of leaving expired.
Critchell was able to activate that after the club was unable to pay players for a number of weeks – it is around eight weeks since the last official payments were made to staff.
“It’s the most difficult decision I’ve ever had to make,” said the 22-year-old. “I’m not doing it because of the fans, who have been fantastic, and I think Hutch has been amazing – it’s been a pleasure to work for him.
“What people don’t see is what is going on behind the scenes and full credit must go to the rest of the lads who have been able to stick it out.”
Months or turmoil have come to a head for the Terras over the past few days and weeks, which has had a real impact on Critchell’s decision.
“At the end of the day I think the wrong people are in the club and I hope people understand my reasons for leaving,” he said. “I was really looking forward to Chris Ryan and Steve Beasant coming in – I think they would have been fantastic for the club.
“But a lot has been going on behind the scenes. People who know me know I’m Weymouth through and through.”
Critchell had the opportunity to go on trial with an unnamed League Two club but couldn’t afford to have two weeks away from work, while possible moves to two other Blue Square South sides were put on hold because the now ex-Weymouth skipper isn’t able to drive at the moment.
“The state I’m in with money, I couldn’t afford to lose my job and go on trial for two weeks,” said Critchell. “My brother has bailed me out and looked after me.
“I feel like a kid again and there’s only so much I can take and bear with.
“It’s been a difficult period but I just want to play football without any aggravation.”
He is now looking forward to a future with the Magpies and helping push them up the table.
“Ashley Vickers is the reason I signed for Dorchester,” said Critchell. “We have similar work ethics and personalities – we are both winners.
“I have quite a lot of friends up there and I’m looking forward to playing football without any drama or any worries behind the scenes.”
Critchell could go straight into the squad for today’s game at Woking (3pm), along with new signing Ryan Hill “It’s a massive signing,” said Vickers. “He’s a player I’ve long admired and we’ve played together previously so I know his qualities.
“He is not only an exceptional player, he’s a fantastic character and will only strengthen our team in the future.”
Vickers also hopes to be able to convince ex-Terra James Coutts, who is training with Dorchester, to join him at the Jewson Stadium.
N Chairman Shaun Hearn confirmed that up to 20 applications had been received for the position of manager and that a severance package with axed boss Roy O’Brien had been settled.
When contacted by Echosport yesterday, O’Brien said he didn’t wish to speak about his dismissal and wanted to move on.