Torquay United have signed Australian defender Aaron Downes on a one-year deal following his release from Chesterfield.

The Gulls have swooped for Downes, 27, as a replacement for Devon-born defender Mark Ellis, who joined League One Crewe Alexandra from Torquay earlier this summer.

Gulls boss Martin Ling watched Downes play as a trialist for Yeovil Town in Saturday's 5-0 pre-season friendly win over Plymouth Argyle at Dorchester Town.

Ling said: "I've told Aaron I'm looking for a left-sided centre-half and he has played 90 per cent of his football in that position, even though he is right-footed.

"He won't play tonight against Tiverton because that would be a little too rushed. He is just signing the paperwork and he will be with us at training this morning before watching tonight."

Downes spent a loan spell at Bristol Rovers last season.

• Torquay United play Tiverton Town in a pre-season friendly tonight (Plainmoor, 1930)

• Truro City host Plymouth Argyle in a pre-season friendly tonight (Treyew Road, 1945). Truro are managed by former Argyle and Torquay United defender Lee Hodges.

• Neil Warnock's Leeds United - who visit Plainmoor on Friday (1900) - opened their Westcountry pre-season tour with a 6-0 win at Tavistock last night.

• Dorchester Town host Gary Johnson's Yeovil Town in a pre-season friendly at the Avenue tonight, Bristol Rovers visit Newport County (Rodney Parade) and Forest Green Rovers host Swindon Town (New Lawn). Games all kick off at 1945.

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