Andrew Boyce admitted his decision to join county rivals Lincoln City fullfilled his ambition of full-time football as he expressed his sadness at quitting Gainsborough Trinity.
The highly-rated defender has signed a one-year deal bringing his two-season stay at the Northolme to a close.
Gainsborough had offered Boyce a new contract to remain at the Northolme on the back of a hugely successful season in which the club reached the Blue Square North play-off final.
But Lincoln have watched the defender all season and finally made their move today, with the transfer fee to be settled by a tribunal.
Gainsborough fans will be devastated by Boyce's departure, and the imposing centre-back said he will remain fond of the Blues.
"I had a great season with Gainsborough," he said.
"They were fantastic with me and we had a terrific season. I am gutted to be leaving, but on the other hand happy to get full-time football with Lincoln.
"It was an opportunity I could not turn down because playing full-time football has always been an ambition of mine.
"I have so many people to thank at Gainsborough for what they have done for me. It's a terrific club and I have met some great people."
Boyce said he was excited by the challenge awaiting him at Lincoln, who finished in the lower half of the Blue Square Bet Premier last season.
mps boss David Holdsworth was delighted to land the 22-year-old defender, who also attracted the attention of Doncaster.
And Boyce said he was impressed with what Holdsworth had to say.
"He was very professional and he has got big plans for the club," he said.
"He is making rearrangements to the inside of the changing rooms to make it better for the players.
"David certainly wants to do good things and I am happy to be a part of it.
"The facilities are terrific, the stadium is terrific and it's a really good set-up.
"Obviously I know they were a league side, but they were a big club for that level, let alone this one. Hopefully they can move up."