Dean Wells has joined the list of Braintree Town players who have left the Iron to fulfil dreams of playing in the Football League.
The 29-year-old Iron defender has signed for League Two side Stevenage Borough after two-and-a-half seasons with Braintree.
The Times was the first to publicly reveal this week that a move may be imminent and that has been confirmed today.
The news will come as a blow to the Iron after Wells had become one of their most influential players and was named in last season’s Conference Premier Team-of-the-Year.
But his move means he has joined other Braintree players, including Andy Yiadom and Alex Revell, to have made the move from the Iron into the Football League as full-time players.
Iron manager Alan Devonshire told the club’s website: “I’ve worked with Deano for nine years now and when he wanted to take this chance at playing in the League, we felt we couldn’t stand in his way, so long as the deal was right for the club.”
Wells signed a new year-long contract with the Iron at the end of last season and the deal that has been agreed between Braintree and Stevenage is for an initial fee of £25,000.
However, that figure received by Braintree could rise in the future with subsequent payments for appearances, promotion and a sell-on clause.
And Braintree chairman Lee Harding expects the money to be put to good use by Devonshire.
He added: “Dean has been a great asset for the club since joining us in 2011 and is the latest player to move on from us into the full time game.
“Financially, the deal is a good one for our club and will allow manager Alan Devonshire to not only replace Dean, but also strengthen in other areas.”
Wells made 120 appearances for Braintree in his time at the Amlin Stadium, scoring seven goals and helping the team achieve the third best defensive record in the Conference Premier last year.
Wells said: “Thanks for the way the club have looked after me for the last two and a half seasons.
“I wish you all the best in the future as Braintree is a great club with great fans.
“I will miss you all from the bottom of my heart.”
Meanwhile, Braintree have said that keeper Nathan McDonald has indicated to them that he is set to return to the club next year.
The England C international had been one of five players who had not taken up an initial offer of re-engagement made by the club, but may now be coming back for the 2014/15 campaign.
Of that quintet of players, the Times revealed last week that Ryan Peters and Matt Paine are also expected to return along with the fact that the remaining two – Dan Holman and Dan Sparkes – have not accepted their initial offers.
The club has said that is still the case although it does not rule out the fact that they may still return for next season.
Should they choose to go elsewhere, though, any club signing them would have to pay compensation to Braintree with cash going straight into Devonshire’s playing budget.