Basingstoke Town defender Rob Atkinson has sealed a move to the EFL by signing for Championship outfit Fulham following a trial.
The Dragons will receive a compensation fee as part of the transfer of the 19-year-old, who has featured for the west London club’s Under-23 team on two occasions this season.
Atkinson caught the eye at the Camrose last year, earning the Player of the Year award with performances that helped Terry Brown’s side to win the Hampshire Senior Cup.
Having been coached in France by the academy set-up at AS Cannes during his earlier teens, Atkinson signed for Town at the start of last season before completing his switch to the Cottagers.
He told his new club’s official website: “To have a club like Fulham come in and offer me a contract, I’m obviously delighted.
“I like to think of myself as a ball-playing centre-half who can bring the ball out, but I can do the dirty work as well.
“I’ve played in non-league; things aren’t pretty down there most of the time. I can play both ways.
“So going back to youth football is going to be an interesting one but I am looking forward to the challenge.
“The end goal is to play for the first team on a regular basis and I will be looking to do that. I don’t particularly want to play Under-23s football until I am 23, I want to get out of it and play adult football because that is where it is all at.”
Atkinson becomes the second player inside seven days to leave the Hampshire side for the Football League after striker Aaron Jarvis joined Luton Town on deadline day.