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"I'll always be an Alty fan" says Conn-Clarke as star striker secures record transfer

The 22-year-old had been the subject of fierce interest from a number of clubs.

Chris Conn-Clarke has said he "will always be an Alty fan" after agreeing a record move to League One side Peterborough United.

The 22-year-old striker had been the subject of fierce interest from other clubs after a breakthrough season at the J Davidson Stadium last season, when he scored 22 goals.

And the Robins have now accepted an undisclosed club record fee for the National League Player of the Year - and he's agreed a three-year deal with the option of an additional year.

Peterborough club chairman Darragh MacAnthony later confirmed on X that Conn-Clarke had been sold for a “high six figure sum”.

Alty bosses had said last week that they would not let the Northern Ireland under-21 international leave "on the cheap", and he now has the opportunity to make his name in the third tier of English football.

Robins manager Phil Parkinson said that although it was the news that "no Alty fan wanted to hear but all knew was coming", it is the right move for Conn-Clarke.

He said: "It’s a very proud moment for myself, the outgoing Rob Esteva, Neil and all the staff who are all involved with the recruitment and development of a player to see them move on to bigger and better things.

"That’s why we’re all in this job, I’d like to think all the lads who come through this Football Club go away nine times out of ten better players and most importantly to me better people."

He added: "He’s had a huge year, him and his partner Daisy have had their second child; Delilah-Rose. He won almost every non-league award going, but the most prestigious one for me was the National League Player of the Season.

Chris Conn-Clarke with his National League Player of the Season award last week

"He then secured his move to the perfect team who have a track record of developing young non-league players and moving them on again.

"The club will get a decent fee and be recognised as a place that helps people develop, get back on track and progress. Everyone wins, exactly how it should be."

Alty co-chairman Lawrence Looney admitted that trying to keep Conn-Clarke had always been likely to be a losing battle.

He said: "We are extremely sorry to see Chris go, but he leaves with our best wishes and gratitude for the impression he made on all of us in what was an unforgettable campaign last season.

"We would loved to have kept him, but the downside of having a player who lights up the stadium to the extent that Chris did last season is that it tends to get noticed. The list of clubs showing an interest in him as the season wore on grew longer and longer, and it soon became clear there was likely to be only one outcome."

Peterborough will be hoping that Conn-Clarke will help them push on to promotion to the Championship next season, having fallen at the play-off stage in the season just gone.

Conn-Clarke scored 22 goals for the Robins last yearChris

Boss Darren Ferguson said: “Chris is a player we have liked for a while and despite having to fight off a lot of interest from elsewhere we are pleased to have secured his services for the new campaign.

!He has all the attributes to step up to League One level after a fantastic season in the National League and I’m sure he will be a brilliant acquisition for the club. I’m looking forward to working with him.”

Conn-Clarke himself penned a heartfelt goodbye letter to Robins fans, saying "it’ll be the first result I look for after my games".

He said: "I want to say thank you to everyone involved at this brilliant club from the top to the bottom. Everyone has been a pleasure to work with, from the board all the way to the fans.

"Thanks to the Gaffer for believing, trusting and giving me the platform and guidance to perform each week.

"A big thanks to Sorvs and the rest of the staff for giving me all the support I’ve needed to keep improving day in day out.

"I would like to thank my teammates for sticking by me and giving me the chance to help the team the best way I can, scoring and assisting goals.

"To the fans you have been amazing this season and it’s been a joy to play in front of you all, I will always be an Alty fan. Now it’ll be the first result I look for after my games.

"Me and my family have been made to feel part of the Altrincham family and I can only thank everyone involved who helps support me on and off the pitch.

"It really is a special place, Up the Robins!"