Published: 18:00, 02 August 2017
Kevin Lokko has completed a shock move from Maidstone to Stevenage just days before the new National League season.
The defender signed a two-year deal after a whirlwind 24 hours, joining for an undisclosed fee after the League 2 club met a buy-out clause.
He trained with Maidstone on Monday morning before taking a call from his agent who told him Stevenage wanted to sign him.
Lokko, 21, only signed a new two-year contract at Maidstone this summer.
He said: "It's been a bit mad. I heard whispers throughout last season but I didn't really take much notice because you don't want to think about things other than playing well for Maidstone.
"But my agent called me yesterday and said Stevenage were going to put a bid in and it escalated from there. It's just an opportunity that I couldn't say no to."
The transfer has rocked Maidstone who are already light on defenders for Saturday's opener against Maidenhead but ambitious Lokko hopes fans will understand.
He said: "I was very focused on Maidenhead at home but things in football change and you've got to make decisions quickly.
"Maidstone have been massive for me and my career because they gave me opportunities that I didn't have.
"When I was relegated at Welling there was a dark period and Maidstone lifted me up and gave me a great opportunity to express myself and start over 40 games.
"It's obviously not ideal for the club where there's a shortage of centre-backs and me leaving so close to the season, but people that know me know my aspirations and my desire to play in the Football League and to have the opportunity at a club like this.
"I'm sure the Maidstone fans and people who work in football will understand that.
"It's a decision I had to make and hopefully people will be happy for me rather than thinking I've turned my back on Maidstone because I haven't done that, I've just done something that will benefit my career."
Stones boss Jay Saunders wanted Lokko to stay but told the former Norwich and Colchester youngster he had to do what was right for him.
Lokko said: "Jay was very honest and straight to the point.
"He wanted me to stay but he's basically said if there's a part of me that wanted to go, there's no point staying because then it's going to affect the players, it's going to affect me and I won't play my best when I have this on my mind.
"My intention was to stay but with Stevenage coming in it's a great opportunity and Jay's been supportive."
Stevenage were in League 1 only three years ago and Lokko wants to help them get back there.
He said: "They outlined their plan for me for the next couple of years, what they expect of me and it was a pretty straightforward move.
"I had my medical done, had a look at the facilities, which were amazing and that's it, contract done.
"They're a very good club and if you look at the training ground, it's unbelievable.
"They've got a big desire to get into League 1 and I want to be part of that."