IN a crushing blow for Warrington Town, star man Ben Garrity has been prised away from the club.

The central midfielder has made the step into the professional game to join League One side Blackpool.

As the 22-year-old signed a two-year deal at Cantilever Park in the summer, Yellows are entitled to a fee for his services.

OPINION: Garrity as close to irreplaceable as you can get for Town

That has not been disclosed but the total deal is believed to be worth around £25,000.

For Town to lose their top goalscorer and midfield heartbeat as their quest for promotion comes to the crunch will no doubt have a big impact, but manager Paul Carden insists they could not stand in Garrity’s way.

“It’s a blow in terms of the team and what we’re losing,” he said.

“When you look where Ben’s come from and what he’s done for us, you can’t deny him the opportunity.

“It could be life-changing for him. It’s definitely career-changing because he’s packing in his job and becoming a full-time professional footballer.

“In terms of where it could take him, I believe he’s got the mindset and attitude to seize this opportunity with both hands.”

Town signed Garrity from Liverpool Sunday league side Oyster prior to last season and he handled the step-up effortlessly.

He scored eight goals in his first season, including two in their ‘super play-off’ defeat to King’s Lynn Town as Yellows fell agonisingly short of promotion to the National League North.

This year, he has stepped up again and had struck 11 times in all competitions, making a total of 19 goals in 78 appearances for the club.

Blackpool sit 15th in the League One table – comfortably clear of relegation danger but perhaps too far adrift of the play-off picture for this season.

With that in mind, Carden believes the timing is right for Garrity to make an impression.

“Looking at where they are and what they’re doing, I think its fair to say they’re probably not going to get promoted or relegated,” he said.

“If there was a time for them to bring young players in, it's probably now.

“There’s an opportunity there for Ben to impose himself in training – which I know he will – and give himself the chance to feature.

“It is a big step up, but I know players who have come from this sort of level and higher.

“If I put Ben up against them, he can do as well as any of them.”