Bedford Town confirmed the transfer of Ollie Swain to National League South side Hemel Hempstead Town on Monday.
The classy defender played 59 times for Bedford, bagging one goal – the winner against Ashford Town (Middlesex).
He left the club with boss Jon Taylor’s best wishes, as the Eagles chief said: “I feel this transfer is an indication that the Eagles are heading in the right direction as Ollie has been chosen to play for a team in the National League South.
“He has all the right credentials to become a Football League player, and anybody giving him the opportunity will be richly rewarded.
“While here at the Eyrie, Ollie has worked his socks off and fully deserved the chance to prove his worth, and has gained valuable experience here at Bedford Town.
“Playing at step four in the non-league pyramid, he has propelled himself into the proverbial shop window with his performances, in both this and last season.
“There were some Football League and National League sides keeping a watch on him during the close season, hence his trial at Dagenham & Redbridge in July, and this helped put him on the radar.”
Taylor also praied Swain for his attitude since arriving, adding: “I first saw Ollie playing U18s football and noticed his potential.
“He was a bit of a rough diamond, but he has slowly polished his footballing skills and I am hopeful that he will settle very quickly at Hemel Hempstead.
“I admire Ollie’s determination, and hope the message can get through to our younger and youth players that hard work on and off the field could one day help tremendously with their own careers.
“Ollie has been a great servant to Bedford Town and has been a real club person during his time at the Eyrie.”