BRAKES boss Paul Holleran has commended departing forward Josh March for his outstanding contribution to the club after earning a move to the Football League.
The 22-year-old moved to League Two side Forest Green Rovers on Monday, just half a year after he joined Leamington from Southern League Premier Division side Alvechurch.
In that period he netted 24 times in 27 appearances for the National League North club, enough to attract the interest from a number of professional sides.
March’s rapid rise into the professional ranks will have come as no surprise to the likes of Holleran and the player’s close allies at Alvechurch, with the Leamington manager confident that the prolific striker can continue his progression in Gloucestershire.
“We are absolutely delighted to see Josh make the step-up into the Football League,” Holleran said.
“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.
“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 [former manager and current 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.”
The transfer marks the second time in the space of six months that a Leamington striker has moved into the Football League, following Colby Bishop’s departure for League One outfit Accrington Stanley – which ironically paved the way for March’s arrival at the Phillips 66 Community Stadium,
Holleran believes the recent trend can only be beneficial in promoting the integrity of the non-league game, adding: “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.
“It’s great to see that young players do still have a pathway into the professional game and can get themselves noticed playing in non-league.
“Josh has really earned his chance with his performances and goals for us this season, and our greatest wish for him now is that he settles in quickly at Forest Green and hits the ground running, much like he did for Leamington.”
As part of the deal, Leamington will host Forest Green in a pre-season friendly in the summer.
A 1-0 home defeat to Altrincham last weekend meant Leamington dropped to 15th place in the league, following Josh Hancock’s 56th-minute goal.
It proves a disappointment that Holleran and co. look to rectify when visiting Kingstonian of the Isthmian League Premier Division in the second round of the FA Trophy on Saturday (3pm).