Leamington striker Josh March today joined League Two side Forest Green Rovers for an undisclosed fee.
March has been a revelation since joining Brakes from Alvechurch in the summer, scoring 24 goals in 27 appearances.
The move to The New Lawn continues a meteoric rise for the 22-year-old who was released by Aston Villa as an 11-year-old and went on to play for Tipton before a prolific spell at Alvechurch saw him bag 81 times in 184 games.
March, who watched on from the sidelines as Brakes went down to Altrincham on Saturday, said he was delighted to be joining such an upwardly mobile club .
Talking to Forest Green’s official website, he said: “I’m buzzing to be here. It has been a stressful few days trying to get everything sorted but I’m excited to be here now and looking forward to getting into it.
“I got a call off my agent saying that Forest Green were interested and you look up about the club and you soon realise it is a club going forward.
“Speaking to the manager, the club came across well, he said he wanted goals and felt like I could come in and get those goals.
“I’ll always work hard for the team, myself and the manager and I feel like I have got good movement, but most importantly is scoring loads of goals - that makes the fans happy.”
While Leamington boss Paul Holleran was disappointed to be losing his star striker so soon he was thrilled to have been able to play a part in helping him realise his dream of turning professional.
“We are absolutely delighted to see Josh make the step up into the Football League,” said Holleran who is hoping to have two signings wrapped up before the weekend trip to Kingstonian.
“He had a number of clubs looking at him and he spoke to several of them, but has made the decision that Forest Green Rovers is the right move for him.
“He is moving to an upwardly mobile, ambitious club with good football people.
“Director of Football Richard Hughes watched Josh several times, and in Mark Cooper they have a very good manager who I am sure will get the best out of him.
“It’s been an epic rise for Josh and he has been helped along the way by some great non-league football people, none more so than Ian Long and Richard Thorndike (Josh’s manager and chairman at Alvechurch). We’re just pleased to have been able to play a part and put the cherry on the top for him if you like.”
March joins a growing list of attacking players who have left Leamington for full-time football, with Colby Bishop, Courtney Baker-Richardson and Matty Stenson the most recent graduates.
And Holleran believes March possesses the same attributes to succeed as Bishop.
“I said the same thing to Forest Green as I said to John Coleman at Accrington about Colby Bishop - you won’t be disappointed with the boy.
“These young players are infectious with their desire to succeed, and we will be keeping a close eye on Josh’s progress, as we do with all of the players who have progressed into the professional game after playing for Leamington.”
As part of the deal agreed between the two clubs we will welcome Forest Green for a pre season friendly in the summer.