KYLE Critchell is set to return to the Bob Lucas Stadium in a sensational switch from arch-rivals Dorchester Town.
The Terras have been pursuing the 25-year-old defender all summer and after having an initial offer rejected, they have finally got their man for an undisclosed fee.
Critchell has since agreed personal terms and Weymouth boss Brendon King could not be happier. He told Echosport: “We have agreed a deal with Dorchester for Kyle and now it is just a case of getting all the paperwork sorted.
“Our first offer for him at the beginning of pre-season was rejected but we recently returned with another one and this time it was accepted.
“We were then given permission to speak to Kyle and the fact he has decided to return to the club is absolutely fantastic.
“He is a quality player and will give us that extra bit of experience just where we need it.
“He really is a huge signing for us.”
Critchell left Weymouth for Dorchester in November 2009 and this latest return will signal his fifth spell at the club.
King added: “Kyle left here at a time when things were not great but he has always wanted to return one day and now he feels the time is right.
“He has seen the improvements that have been made behind the scenes and after playing against us last Saturday in the Bob Lucas Trophy, he can also see the potential here with the new signings we have managed to bring in.
“It is not going to happen overnight but he wants to help us get out of this league and I would like to thank the board for helping to bring him in. I have no doubts he will be a key player for us in the months and years ahead.”
Although Critchell’s move back to Weymouth comes as a surprise there has been speculation regarding his future at the Magpies all summer due to a part-time course he is preparing to start next month at Bath University.
When asked what impact his studies will have on his commitment to the Terras, King went on to say: “He is doing a degree out of Weymouth College and there may be a couple of times a year where he has to go to Bath University for a couple of sessions. However, I have spoken to him about it and in the grand scheme of things it is not a problem.”
Although disappointed to lose a player of Critchell’s calibre, Magpies’ boss Phil Simkin insists it was the right decision to make.
He said: “Certain situations occur in football and you have to deal with them. His university situation probably started it and it certainly was a factor but there were other factors as well.
“However, Kyle has been an excellent player for the club and I would like to thank him for everything he has done.
“In this particular situation it was best for both parties that he moved on. He has chosen to sign for Weymouth and I wish him all the best for the future.”