Jamal Lowe will become the latest player from Hampton & Richmond Borough to be picked out by a Football League club – but not quite yet.
The player has signed a pre-contract agreement with Sky Bet League Two side Portsmouth after the two clubs agreed a deal this week.
Until the transfer window opens in January, it is understood that Lowe will be training on the south coast under Pompey manager Paul Cook but returning to The Beveree to play for the Beavers to keep himself match fit.
Speaking after agreeing the deal, Lowe said: “I’m buzzing. Since I was a kid I have always wanted to be a professional footballer. Portsmouth are a massive club and I am grateful for the opportunity.”
However, Lowe was appreciative of his time with the Beavers: “I will always be grateful to Hampton for giving me the opportunity to show what I can do.
“Alan Dowson, Martin Tyler and Ian Dyer’s support gave me a great level of self-belief, and they allowed me the freedom to just to play, and my game has improved massively thanks to their input.
“Hampton is the best club I have played for, and I have really enjoyed my time here, and my focus between now and January is to keep my levels of performance up and to score goals, making sure that I leave the club in the best possible position before I move on.”
Manager Alan Dowson said: “It`s a great move for the lad. He could have left in the summer but he kept his word and stayed here. Like Moussa Diarra, we knew he’d move on and this will be a massive step up for him.
“At least we have him until Christmas and this will mean someone will have to step up from within the squad in January and take their chance.”
Joining the club on loan from Hemel Hempstead November 2015, Lowe impressed and was soon signed on permanently, scoring 15 goals in twenty-eight appearances in the club’s title-winning push.
This season, he has really stepped-up, scoring 11 league goals so far in just fifteen matches, but in all competitions, he put away 17 goals in just nineteen matches.
Chairman Steve McPherson added: “First and foremost we are absolutely delighted for Jamal that he has achieved his childhood ambition of signing for a professional club, his contribution since signing from Hemel Hempstead a little under a year ago has been incredible, and it has been a pleasure to watch his progress.
“It is only right to also acknowledge the contribution of our management team in his progression, Dowse put a lot of faith in him, and made no secret that he believed Jamal had the attributes to move forward.
“We thank Portsmouth for the professional way this deal has been managed, it was a tough negotiation, but we had to ensure that all parties achieved what they wanted out of the arrangement and I am comfortable that this objective has been met.
“I truly believe that Jamal will not be the last player within this current squad that will make the move to the professional game.
“We now have a few months to see Jamal continue his exceptional season to date as a Hampton player, before saying our farewells and enjoy watching his future progress”.