MIDFIELDER Ben Tozer has rejected the offer of a new deal at Newport County AFC to join League Two rivals Cheltenham Town.

Tozer’s County contract expires at the end of June and the 28-year-old has opted to join Cheltenham to be closer to his family.

Speaking to CTFC.com after signing his new deal, Tozer thanked the Exiles for the time he’d spent with the club.

"I really enjoyed last season at Newport County with a great cup run too,” he said.

“I made some good friends there and enjoyed my time in Wales and I thank the club for all the support it has given me."

Tozer was signed by Warren Feeney in the summer of 2016 and enjoyed a successful start to his time at Rodney Parade before falling out with Graham Westley, who had succeeded Feeney in October 2016.

He then suffered from anxiety attacks and spent time away from the club while caretaker boss Michael Flynn guided the club to the Great Escape from relegation.

Tozer revealed his problems in an interview with The Sun earlier this year and thanked Flynn for his support.

“The gaffer and the club doctor were brilliant,” he said.

“Only three people at the club knew what I was going through — them and me. The whole thing was kept secret.

“It was so secret I didn’t want to tell any of my team-mates.

“We were fighting for our lives to stay in League Two.

“I’d like to have taken them into my confidence — and I know now that it is a good thing to talk about these problems, which is why I have decided to tell my story now.

“But at the time I was scared if I did tell them it might upset them and take their minds off that fight to stay in the league.”

He returned to action in August last year and made 45 appearances in the 2017-2018 campaign, scoring three goals.

A County statement said: “Ben has played a big part in the successes through the 2017-2018 season and the club would like to thank him for his hard work and commitment and wish him all the best with his future endeavours.”

Cheltenham manager Gary Johnson said: "We’re delighted to have signed Ben. He is a fantastic athlete and I have worked with him previously so know exactly the kind of character he will bring to the squad.

"Ben has tremendous energy to his game, can play as a real ball player in midfield and is also very adaptable and can play in a number of other positions."

Tozer added: “I feel this is a fantastic place to be and a great time to be here. I know the gaffer very well and I’m excited about what we can achieve here."