Whitby Town's talisman Dale Hopson has left the club to sign for Blyth Spartans after their manager Alun Armstrong admitted they'd spent a lot more than they had hoped to acquire the attacking midfielder.
Hopson signalled his ambitions to play at a higher level after requesting to leave the Blues and has subsequently signed for the Vanarama National League North outfit, who were promoted out of the Evo-Stik Premier last term.
On the inflated transfer fee, Hopson said: “It doesn’t bring any pressure, I don’t think. I think it’s more flattering than anything, but like I say, I’m just looking forward to getting going with the games.”
Hopson is now looking forward to hitting the ground running with his new club. He added: “Obviously, pre-season is already underway but I’m looking forward to getting started properly with the games. It’s a big club and a big step up for me from Whitby, so I can’t wait to get started.
“I think from a playing point of view when I spoke to Alun, I seemed to get the satisfaction that I needed to sign for Blyth from talking to him. I’m glad it’s all done and dusted now really.”
Spartans boss Armstrong admitted they'd spent more than they had hoped to to prise Hopson away from the Turnbull Ground.
Former Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town striker Armstrong said: "“It’s cost a lot more than I’d have wanted to pay, to be totally honest, but that’s the current market and it appears to have taken off for some reason. For someone of his ability though, you have to pay to the money.
“The biggest thing for me is that he scored nine out of nine penalties last season, whereas we pretty much missed nine out of nine penalties.
“He scored over 30 goals in all competitions last season and he’s someone I was definitely watching. We knew he was dangerous and we haven’t really got a player like that as such."
Spartans chairman Tony Platten added: “The executive committee is fully supporting the manager to build the best possible squad for the coming season.
"Having two of last season’s top three Evo-Stik Premier League goalscorers in our squad will give us the best possible chance of making good progress in the Vanarama National League North this season.”