Fleetwood Town have finally got their man - number one summer target Ryan Cresswell joining from Southend United.
The highly rated 25-year-old had been the subject of three offers from Fleetwood, with York and Chesterfield also expressing an interest.
Neither were able to match Fleetwood’s offer for the player, who was desperate to make a move back north.
Cresswell is likely to start alongside fellow new boy and former Stevenage skipper Mark Roberts at the heart of Town’s defence.
The defender, who was named in last season’s PFA League Two team of the season and played for Southend in the Johnstone’s Paints Trophy final, promised to bring his no-nonsense approach to the game to Highbury.
He said: “I’m all about passion and agression.
“I like to think of myself as a dominant centre half who wears their heart on their sleeve.
“It’ll be there for everyone to see and I’m looking forward to working hard for this club and getting it to where it deserves to be, which is promoted.
“I think it’s a good move, at the right time
“The club’s going in the right direction and it’s great to be onboard.”
Cresswell should, yesterday, have been in Madrid with the Southend squad.
But a last minute change of plans brought him North instead, where he enjoyed his first training sessions with Graham Alexander and the Fleetwood squad.
He said: “I’ve done a full pre-season at Southend.
“They are on a trip to Madrid at the moment.
“I got pulled at the last minute when I was told Fleetwood’s bid had been accepted.
“I shot straight up here to speak to the chairman and as soon as I spoke to him and saw his drive - it’s a massive selling point.
“I walked away, shook his hand and the deal was done.”
And he’s excited to be part of the next chapter in Fleetwood Town’s remarkable rise through the football ranks.
“Fleetwood came up last season and showed great maturity,” said Cresswell.
“ They got the points on the board nice and early.
“They fell away at the end but the manager here wants to push on to the next level.
“He’s brought in some great signings over the summer and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.”
And Cresswell hoping to become an ever-present under his new manager, just as he was at Roots Hall.
He said: “Last season I played 50 or more games for Southend and I got the merit of being in the team of the year.
“I’m very proud of that and I want to replicate that this season here at Fleetwood Town.
“If I’m doing well it means Fleetwood are doing well and that’s the aim for everybody.”
Cresswell has played alongside a number of his new team-mates, with Gareth Evans and Stephen Jordan at Rotherham and keeper Scott Davies during his time at Morecambe.
He’s hoping to see action on Wednesday night, when Town take on Coventry City at Highbury - with the new season little more than a week away.
He said: “the gaffer asked me, I said I wanted to be involved so hopefully I can be.”