Crawley Town boss Mark Yates admits it is a big blow after reluctantly allowing last season's player of the year Ryan Dickson move to League Two rivals Yeovil Town.

Dickson became a father midway through last season and put in a transfer request last week in order to move closer to his family in the south-west.

Reds have received a nominal fee for the 28-year-old left-back after he agreed a two-year deal with the Glovers.

Yates said: "It’s obviously very disappointing to lose a player of Ryan’s ability and someone who I know became very popular with our supporters last season.

“Ryan’s transfer request was not made for footballing reasons. We wish him well and I’m sure when he comes back in September with Yeovil he will get a good reception from the Crawley supporters.”

Dickson made 37 appearances for Crawley last season after joining on a free transfer from Colchester but struggled towards the end of the campaign with a hernia problem which required surgery.

He had a previous loan spell at Yeovil two years ago and played under Glovers boss Paul Sturrock during his time at Plymouth.

Dickson said: “I’d just like to stress that I am leaving Crawley for family reasons so I can move back to the South West.

"I will always look back on my year with the club as one of the most enjoyable of my career and the main reason for that is that the Reds’ fans were absolutely brilliant to me. I’d like to thank them for all the support they have given me.

“It was a very hard decision for me to make but I have to think of my family. I hope the Crawley fans will understand the reasons and I would like to wish Mark Yates and everyone at the club all the best for the future and to thank them for helping to make the transfer possible.”