Forest Green Rovers have won the race to sign Oxford City prospect Udoka Godwin-Malife.
The League Two side have beaten Championship clubs to the 18-year-old defender’s signature.
Godwin-Malife has signed a two-and-a-half year contract for an undisclosed fee after impressing for Oxford.
He made 38 appearances for the National League South side after coming up through Oxford City Nomads, the club’s reserve team, and can play at centre-back or right-back
“This club has a really good track record of progressing young players and I wanted to come here, have a good time, kick on and try to get some minutes in League football,” Godwin-Malife said.
“I came in yesterday and spoke to the gaffer. He showed me around the place, introduced me to everyone and introduced me to the playing style. He told me how I’d fit into this amazing club and told me he’s ready to Improve me.
“I went to Oxford City when I was 16 as a scholar and it wasn’t until last season that I made my debut against St. Albans when the manager showed faith in me and involved me in the first team and since then I have just kicked on.”
“I was flattered when Forest Green were interested in me and it was just like, ‘when can I start,’ so I’m really happy to be here.
“I’m physical, I like playing football, I’m quick and I want to get a better understanding of the game and help contribute to Forest Green.”
His new manager Mark Cooper added: “He’s a young player who has been on our radar.
“Richard Hughes, our head of recruitment, has been onto me for a couple of months about this player and he was one we were monitoring and we were watching every game at Oxford City.
“I’ve been to watch him twice and the interest in him from other clubs began to speed up the process and there was some real interest from some big clubs and we didn’t want to miss out.
“I think the most pleasing thing is that he has had the choice of four or five clubs in the last few hours and he could have gone to bigger clubs but he realised it was the best place for his development.
“He could go into the team and not let himself down but we need to do some work with him a little bit.”