POOLE Town boss Tom Killick says losing striker Marvin Brooks to Salisbury is a "real body blow" and adds it will be "horrific" for the player to drop two leagues.

Killick was certain Brooks would have been one of National South's foremost attackers next term but understood the 27-year-old's decision to accept the "astounding" cash on offer at the Southern South & West team.

He was, though, delighted that Brooks' fellow attacker, Luke Burbidge, resisted similar advances from the same club.

Killick told the Daily Echo: "Losing Marvin is a real body blow, he's been with us for six years and been integral to our success in that period.

"It's really important we don’t allow his departure to cloud what he's done for us.

"He didn’t want to leave. We had talked about next season and more or less resolved the financial terms for him to stay.

"I was confident Marvin would have been one of the best strikers in the National South next season and that's why it's so horrific that he will playing in the league he's going to.

"He doesn’t want to play in that league but feels it's something he has to do because of the financial reward. I make no criticism of him for that.

"I want to emphasise my gratitude to him for the six years he has given us."

Killick drew enormous consolation from the excellent Steve Devlin joining midfielder partner Carl Pettefer in signing a deal to keep him with Dolphins next season.

Nevertheless, the manager knows he is up against it in his chase for a suitable replacement for the departed Brooks.

"Salisbury are paying National League money," continued Killick. "It's astounding, really, what they do in the league they're in – that's not a criticism, it's a compliment.

"It must have been a catastrophe for them not to get out of that league and you would imagine they'll win it by 20 or 30 points next season. But even if they do, Marvin will be playing at a level of football he shouldn’t be the following year.

"I've lost one of the best strikers in the league and he'll be hard to replace.

"Salisbury also made a very big offer to Luke Burbidge but he has decided to stay and I'm very pleased about that.

"I've had opportunities to do things and not gone after them in a strong way, because I didn’t think I needed to.

"But it's urgent now. I have a couple of things I'm hoping might happen but when clubs in our league, and one and two divisions below, have such financial power it isn't easy.

On Devlin's new deal, Killick added: "Devs has got a real affinity with the club and is a brilliant personality. He has a nasty streak when he needs it; a bit of devil in him when he plays, and an awful lot of ability.

"He was one of our best players last season and him staying is a huge boost."