BRIDPORT boss Adam Fricker revealed the decision behind midfielder Tom Richardson’s departure was “mutual” after the former Bee failed to turn up to several games when selected this season.

Fricker stressed that such behaviour could not be tolerated as the absence of Richardson, now at Portland United, let him and his fellow squad members down.

Speaking to Echosport, Fricker expressed his disappointment in the unreliability of Richardson.

He said: “It was a bit of a mutual thing. Tom’s found his game time very limited this season, he’s struggled to hold down a first-team place.

“As great a lad as Tom is, his availability has been very poor this season. He’s let me and the lads down on three or four occasions by not turning up to games.

“For me, that can’t be tolerated. It was probably the right thing for Tom to move on and kick-start himself back up at Portland.

“It’s almost a joint decision. Tom wasn’t playing for the first team at the time anyway.

“Portland came in for him and we waived the seven days and felt it was best for all parties that he moved on.

“Don’t get me wrong, Tom is a great lad but I can’t have players not turning up to games – it’s just not acceptable.”

Fricker also admitted the decision to let Richardson leave might have been made earlier had the Bees not been thin on players.

He said: “On his day he’s a fantastic footballer. There isn’t a poor attitude. It’s a strange one. We would’ve made the decision about six weeks ago but obviously we were light on bodies so we kept Tom within the squad.”

In response, Richardson said: “I don’t feel like I was enjoying it down at Bridport as I’ve done in the past.

“I needed to make a change.

“I’ve got a few mates up at Portland and now I’m making myself available.

“Fifty per cent of the time I was making up an excuse (for availability).

“People that know me know that I haven’t got an attitude problem – I haven’t fallen out with Adam.”