Torquay United have snapped up former Swindon Town goalkeeper Conor Thompson, 17, to join the Plainmoor Academy.
Thompson, who has played for Northern Ireland at Under-16 level, played on trial for the Gulls in a recent FA Alliance match at Exeter City, and United have been trying to sign him ever since.
He left Swindon at the end of last season, halfway through a planned two-year deal, and has since played for Gloucester City and Chippenham Town.
"It's a massive step in the right direction for me," said Thompson.
United's head of youth Geoff Harrop reported: "We have taken over Conor's scholarship, which will run to the end of this season. He had one or two other offers to consider, and we're really pleased to have him on board.
"He's a well-built, confident lad, but he's still learning the game and we hope he makes the most of his potential."
Thompson is expected to be involved in United's FL Alliance Group Cup match at Exeter City tomorrow, and he will then join the Gulls full-time next week. Torquay have been drawn away to Bristol Rovers in the FA Youth Cup on Wednesday, October 31.