BOSTON United have been left looking for a new provider after Jamie Yates turned down the chance to re-sign for the Pilgrims - opting to switch to Square Bet North rivals Gainsborough Trinity.
His decision to walk out of the Jakemans Stadium will be a real hammer blow to the amber and blacks’ rebuilding ahead of the 2011-12 campaign.
And the fact he has moved to county rivals will make the news much harder to take.
The diminutive wideman - who admitted it was a ‘tough’ decision to switch to the Northolme - will leave a big hole in the Boston squad.
Last season he provided 23 assists, scored five goals and earned a penalty - playing a vital role in 35 per cent of the club’s 83 goals in all competitions.
And if United are to go better than last season’s play-off semi-final defeat, managers Jason Lee and Lee Canoville will need to act swiftly to bring in a player who can offer a similar special delivery service.
“It was a tough decision, but I felt it was time to move on,” said Yates, who told United of his decision to leave after Friday night’s end-of-season dinner.
“Gainsborough want to rebuild with a team of young and hungry players, and I think I fit into that.
“I was at Boston for 18 months and felt it was time for a new challenge.
“It’s also a chance to learn from Brian Little, a manager who has done things in the Premier League.”
United were granted some good news this week as Gareth Jelleyman, Paul Bastock, Marc Newsham and Danny Sleath all put pen to paper on deal extensions.
Kevin Austin and Ryan Semple have both agreed to stay in principle, although Lawrie Dudfield has opted to retire.
However, with Yates leaving and Shaun Pearson and Anthony Church yet to decide upon their futures, the club could be in danger of losing three of their most influential players, both on the pitch and in the dressing room.
Yates admitted that he spoke to former Boston manager Rob Scott before deciding to sign for the Blues. However, he denied Scott advised him to move on.
“Rob called me to say he had heard Gainsborough were interested,” Sheffield-based Yates added.
“He didn’t suggest I go either way, he left that to me.
“He just pointed out the good things about both clubs.”
Trinity, who have also signed former United defender Dominic Roma, appear to be splashing a bit of cash about in an attempt to improve on last season’s woeful 18th-place finish.
Yates says Trinity have not spoken to him about any other available Boston players.
The winger may be reunited with his former club sooner rather than later as Boston could face Trinity in the Lincolnshire Senior Shield on August 2, if they defeat Lincoln United.