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Move is right for Elphick
The central defender, who turns 25 on September 7, is heading to ambitious League One outfit Bournemouth on a three-year deal.
He moves west for an undisclosed fee believed to be in six figures.
Woodingdean-based Elphick had set his heart on playing for his local club at The Amex.
But he was facing a battle for a place in Poyet’s Championship line-up.
Elphick was preparing for his new challenge at Dean Court as Albion drew 2-2 at Crawley last night in a friendly which saw Wayne Bridge play 90 impressive minutes after injury.
Poyet said: “I think it is a great move for Tommy Elphick the footballer, the professional and the person.
“I am sure it was very tough for him but I think right now it was the right decision for his future.
“Now we need to see how it works, how he does, how the team does.
“But we wish him very well.
“I think it was a great opportunity.”
Elphick has proved his fitness in pre-season having missed the 2011-12 campaign with a serious Achilles injury.
Poyet has hinted he would expect players unlikely to feature in his side to move on.
He added: “I understand he wants to play and not sit in the stands and therefore I thank him for his service to the club and wish him the very best with Bournemouth in the future.”
Chairman Tony Bloom said: “Tommy has been with the club since he was a schoolboy and I am sure it was not an easy decision for him to leave.
“We have seen him rise up through the ranks and he has been a magnificent servant to the club at youth and senior level.”
Bloom added: “He is a shining example to youngsters off the pitch with the work he has undertaken as part of the club’s schools project and Albion In The Community.”
Bridge put himself in contention for Tuesday’s trip to Swindon in the Capital One Cup on Tuesday with 90 busy minutes up and down the left flank.
Marcos Painter also returned to action after a hamstring problem but Romain Vincelot missed the game through illness.
Poyet was delighted with Bridge’s efforts.
He said: “Wayne is feeling great. But tired. I don’t think he will feel great in the morning!
“But it was perfect. What we were looking for we got so it’s magnificent.
“He was quick, explosive, he was going forward, coming back, reacting well, good on the ball, brave.
“We were looking for something very specific.
“One of the keepers – 90m minutes. Wayne Bridge – 90 minutes. Adam El-Abd – 90 minutes. Matt Sparrow – another 90 minutes. Toby Agdestein – 90 minutes.
“Then we gave the chance for the kids to feel part of the first team.
“There were plenty of positives.”
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