NEW Brightlingsea Regent striker Adam Hampson is ready to embrace the challenge of step three football.

The front man has joined Tom Rothery’s Isthmian League premier division side from neighbours FC Clacton.

The move went through last week and Hampson met his new team-mates at the R’s first pre-season training session on Saturday.

He admits it is a big jump, from step five of the non-league pyramid to step three.

However, he has faith in his ability, feels better prepared than ever before and is ready to step out of his comfort zone.

“I’m so excited about this move,” said the 29-year-old, who scored 22 goals for the Seasiders in their record-breaking Thurlow Nunn League campaign.

“I was buzzing as soon as I got wind of the fact it was on the cards.

“I’ve always wanted to play at the highest level but the opportunity has never materialised before.

“I’m not sure why but certainly feel more ready than ever before.

“Hopefully I can be a good fit at Brightlingsea.

“I’ve always scored goals and definitely believe in my ability.

“Only time will tell but I certainly feel confident I can step up, otherwise I would have stayed where I was at a level I was comfortable with.

“But I want to challenge myself and, in that respect, I believe I’m joining a perfect club in Brightlingsea.

“If you look at most of their team, they’re players that have stepped up from a lower level.

“It just shows what can happen if you get an opportunity and someone believes in you.”

While thrilled to have been given a chance, Hampson admitted it was a wrench to leave Clacton.

“It didn’t take long to agree, although I’m certainly sad to be leaving Clacton,” he said.

“I enjoyed last season and was looking forward to another year there.

“(Manager) Tom (Austin) and I have got a great relationship and he did brilliantly last season.

“I haven’t got a bad word to say about the club but this is too good an opportunity to turn down.

“As soon as I’d signed, I went online and looked at the clubs we’ll be playing next season.

“The main thing that struck me was the attendances, which are much higher than I’m used to.

“It’s going to be a challenge and I know I’ve got a lot of learning to do, but just want to get my head down and make a success of this opportunity.

“Tom (Rothery) came round to get my paperwork signed and we had a great chat.

“It’s clear he knows what I’m about and what I can bring to the team.

“Hopefully he can help me improve and score goals at a higher level.”

Hampson already knows some of his new team-mates, including Regent skipper Matt Cripps, from their time together at Stanway, and former Braintree Town Reserves colleague Jake Turner.

He also lives round the corner from R’s assistant manager Pip Boyland.

“Funnily enough, I almost signed for Brightlingsea before,” said Hampson.

“It didn’t go through for whatever reason but they’ve come so far in a short space of time.

“It’s been unbelievable and in the last five or six years, the same core of players have done a brilliant job.

“I can’t wait to get started and am looking forward to playing up front with (prolific Regent striker) Billy Hunt.

“I’ve only heard good things about him and his goalscoring record is excellent.

“Hopefully we can strike up a real partnership.”