Aldershot Town concluded their dealings in the January transfer window late last night with manager Dean Holdsworth shocking everyone by announcing the departure of midfielder Jamie Collins for an undisclosed fee.
The 27-year old Londoner who appeared to be the number one name on the team sheet despite many poor performances this season, has joined Conference side Forest Green Rovers.
Speaking to the clubs official website on the departure the boss said: “Jamie has been a good friend of mine for a number of years and a player who has always given me everything he could.
"I want to thank him for his work, his professionalism and to wish him well at his new club.”
Jamie made 31 appearances for the club since his summer arrival from Newport County and was an ever present in the Carling Cup run earlier this season which included the victories at West Ham United and as a substitute versus Manchester United in October.
With one out, the boss also announced the arrival of 33-year old midfielder Ben Smith who has joined the club on a three month loan deal from Crawley Town.
The former Arsenal apprentice has made over 400 appearances netting 70 goals in a career that also includes Yeovil Town, Hereford United and Shrewsbury Town. He also made 35 appearances for the Sussex club last season as they won the Conference championship in addition to enjoying an epic FA Cup run. He netted a brace in the replay victory at Swindon Town before also featuring in the giant killing performance versus Derby County and in front of 74,778 spectators at Manchester United’s Old Trafford.
The boss also confirmed that striker Reece Connolly has also finally returned from his loan spell at Farnborough - after confusion over his return date meant that the Boro managed to get an additional game from him when The Shots believe he was due back at the EBB Stadium.
The 20-year old Frimley born striker netted 16 goals in 34 appearances at the Rushmoor Stadium and the boss added: “Reece played in a friendly at Maidenhead United on Monday and he has grown into a man.
"He has taken the work that we have done with him away during the week and he is growing in stature. His pace has got better and it is like a new signing for us. He will get his chance here.”
Meanwhile, 19-year old midfielder Max Worsfold has joined Blue Square Conference South side Dorchester Town on a loan for the remainder of the season. The Chertsey born youngster made 30 appearances for Maidenhead United in a similar agreement earlier in the campaign.
It is also confirmed that 18-year old skolars Bradley Pegg and Matt Steer have joined Wessex League Premier division Blackfield and Langley in a work experience agreement.