Forest Green Rovers have beaten off competition from teams as high as the Championship to secure the permanent signing of prolific non-league striker Josh March.

The Leamington marksman has attracted much interest across the EFL after scoring 24 goals in 27 games for the National League North club this season, including a five-minute hat-trick against Telford United in the FA Trophy last month.

A bid for the 22-year-old striker was accepted over the weekend and he becomes the second signing of the January transfer window, joining the loan capture of Jevani Brown, who put in a man-of-the-match performance on debut against Crawley Town.

March fits the profile of the club and has scored goals everywhere he has been and can’t wait to start finding the back of the net at The New Lawn.

Josh March said: “I’m buzzing to be here. It has been a stressful few days trying to get everything sorted but I’m excited to be here now and looking forward to getting into it.

“I got a call off my agent saying that Forest Green were interested and you look up about the club and you soon realise it is a club going forward.

“Speaking to the manager, the club came across well, he said he wanted goals and felt like I could come in and get those goals.

“I’ll always work hard for the team, myself and the manager and I feel like I have got good movement, but most importantly is scoring loads of goals – that makes the fans happy.”

Richard Hughes, director of football at Forest Green Rovers, said: “Josh is a player we have done a lot of work on. He has a very good goal scoring this year and have watched him on six or seven occasions.

“He has got a really good pedigree, has scored goals on his way up through the leagues and, in terms of his personality, he is our kind of player, very humble, has worked other jobs and is keen to be stepping into full-time football. He fits our profile as a person as well as a footballer.

“It’s a massive step up but these are the players we want to give the opportunities to. We can go and do what other teams do and recycle the same League Two players, but finances dictate and we want to be the club that gives players those opportunities.

“He’s a natural goal scorer, is a confident young man and backs his ability.”

Before joining Leamington last summer, March was playing in the Southern League Premier Division Central for Alvechurch.

He made his debut for the Worcestershire club as an 18-year-old in 2015, helping them to back-to-back promotions, scoring 81 goals in his 184 games for the club.

Since joining the Brakes, he has been on top form, scoring goals for fun, with his last strike for them coming in a 3-0 win over Gloucester City on Boxing Day.