Exclusive by Matthew Panting
Welling striker Andy Pugh signed for Cambridge United for £15,000 on Wednesday afternoon.
The 19-goal former Gillingham forward was expected to make the move earlier this month but it was delayed after he aggravated a knee injury against Dartford on January 2.
Pugh (pictured) has attracted plenty of interest in recent months so his decision to opt for Blue Square Bet Premier play-off hopefuls Cambridge will come as a surprise to Welling fans.
However, Cambridge were the only club to meet Welling's valuation of the player, who also had a trial at League 1 Leyton Orient earlier this season.
The deal also includes additional payments should Cambridge be successful and a sell-on clause if Pugh continues to progress.
"If I was to leave Welling it had to be full-time," said Pugh. "In my opinion Cambridge are a big club, they are pushing to get back into the league and hopefully with my help they can do that.
"I got a good feel for the place, the manager was really keen and told me the role he wants me to play. I'll have a lot to do and hopefully things will go well for me."
Pugh could have held out for a Football League club or waited until his Welling contract ran out in the summer before deciding his next move, but he believes that he has made the right choice to step up now.
"Obviously, I think I am good enough to play in the league," added Pugh. "But Cambridge are a big club, I scored against them for Histon a couple of years ago, and the atmosphere was incredible. It's a great stadium and they are a league club (effectively) with a good history and ambition.
"Going into the Conference, I've played at that level before and I know I can do it as I have matured as a player.
"I am going there to play rather than going another couple of steps higher and having to adapt even more to the pace of the game. Maybe it would have taken me six months or a year to settle into a League 1 club. I could have found myself sitting around but now I feel I can go to Cambridge and help them push on. I feel it was the best move for me.
"I spent three years as a professional at Gillingham and never got a run in the team. When the reserve games came around, you were rusty, you would get sent out on loan for a month and then go back and keep your fitness.
"Hopefully everyone at Welling would say the same, but just from playing week in, week out, for the last year and a half I have matured a lot as a player and I feel I have progressed a lot. Going somewhere that I can play (every week) was vital."
How do you think Andy Pugh will get on at Cambridge United? Have your say in the comments section below.
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