Chris ARTHUR admitted the lure of AFC Wimbledon and League Two football was too good to turn down after he sealed his Hawks exit.
The powerhouse left-sided player, who still had nine months of his Westleigh Park contract remaining, signed for south London side yesterday after talks with Dons manager Neil Ardley.
The move brings Arthur’s 18-month stay and second stint at the Hawks to an end, with the Blue Square Bet side picking up an undisclosed fee for his services.
But the fans’ player of the year for the 2012-13 season said he was leaving Lee Bradbury’s side with a heavy heart.
Arthur claimed his spell at the club and working with Bradbury had benefitted his game.
‘It has always been my ambition to get back into the Football League and this is too good an opportunity to miss,’ said Arthur.
‘If there wasn’t any interest from league clubs, it was always my intention to stay.
‘I met with Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley and, after he explained his ideas to me, I was more than happy to sign for them.
‘The Hawks have been great for me, though,
‘After Lee Bradbury took charge, he’s had a big impact on my game. He believed in me and gave me the confidence to push forward.’
Arthur started his career at Queens Park Rangers as a youth-team player.
But after leaving the R’s in 2009, he has yo-yoed back and forth between League and non-league sides.
Having turned out for Bishop’s Stortford, Arthur moved to Rotherham United, before making four appearances for the Hawks in September 2011.
A short spell with Northampton followed, until he returned to the Hawks three months later.
Arthur spent much of last season playing on the left-side of midfield, impressing with his bursts down the flank.
Ardley said Dons fans should be excited by the move.
‘We watched Chris a lot last season, and though he is not a high-profile signing, I am sure that Wimbledon’s fans will be excited by his talents,’ he said.
‘He has got unbelievable pace, a great left foot and he can also fill in at left-back.
‘I think we can develop Chris and turn him into a very good player.’