WEYMOUTH boss Matty Hale has beaten rivals Dorchester Town to the signature of defender Kyle Critchell.

Following the 22-year-old’s release from Wrexham both teams were among a glut of clubs that pursued the ex-Southampton trainee but it is the Terras who have come out on top, much to their manager’s delight.

Hale said: “There were a lot of clubs interested in Kyle, some of which play at a higher level than we do, but I think his decision to come back to Weymouth shows exactly what he is about.

“He wants to come home and play for the club, and he wants to be a part of the rebuilding process, which is fantastic.

“He will have a big part to play in what we want to achieve and I am sure the fans will see it as another great signing for us.”

Critchell enjoyed a fine first year at the Terras in 2007-08 but a surprise move to Wrexham followed last summer where he made just two appearances before going out on loan to York City.

In March, the ex-Wales Under-21 international then returned to Weymouth where he impressed in a second loan move that saw him make eight outings.

Hale added: “I am not sure what the Wrexham manager wants at the moment but that is how football works and we have got a great player off the back of his decision to release him.

“Kyle has assured me that he is over the injury problems he has suffered in recent times and I am pretty happy that is the case too.

“He is ready and raring to go, and we will look to play him in central defence, which I know is his preferred position.

“That is an important role in any side but I know he has the right character and the quality to play there and do a fantastic job for us.”

Meanwhile, Hale has confirmed that ex-Weymouth player-manager Andy Mason will be part of the club’s technical staff next season.

Since Ian Hutchinson’s instalment as assistant-manager there has been huge speculation linking Mason with a return to the Wessex Stadium.

The ex-Portland United boss was Hutchinson’s number two at Bridport last season and Hale is keen to utilise his services.

He added: “I have been looking into restructuring the technical staff at the club and Andy Mason will be a part of the new set up.

“I should be in a position to announce more on that in the next couple of weeks once I have finalised deals with some key players.”