TOM Blair admitted his “dream has become a reality” after signing his first professional contract with Eastleigh.

Blair, 21, departs Dorchester Town where he made 153 appearances and scored 30 goals for the Magpies across five years.

His “long-term” deal elevates him two divisions from Pitching In Southern Premier South level to the Vanarama National League.

“All I’ve ever wanted to do since I started playing was be a professional,” he told Echosport.

“The fact that it’s come true, a dream has become a reality. I don’t think it’s all quite sunk in yet. I’m absolutely over the moon to have made the move.”

Blair, who will wear the number 24 shirt for the Spitfires, is set to compete for a starting spot with highly-rated wingers Sam Smart, Ryan Hill and former Weymouth wide man Abdulai Baggie.

He said: “I’ve not really had competition at Dorch for a couple of years now, so it’s a bit different but it will only make me better.

“You’re not going to get in the team straight away, so I need to prove my place and do well when I do get the chance to start or come on as a sub.

“When I get my chance I need to cement my place in the team as soon as I can.

“I’ve got the backing of everyone at Eastleigh, it's just a case of me showing them I am a National League player already and I don’t need much time to get up to speed.”

Finally, Blair had a message of thanks to former club Dorchester for their support in his footballing journey.

He said: “Thank you to everyone for supporting me not just in the good, but the bad times.

“Personally and with the team we’ve been through bad times and good.

“Most of the fans and club, the players, management have all got behind me. I am where I am now because of Dorchester.

“It’s credit to them for sticking by me. The club wouldn’t survive without fans being community owned, so they’re a massive part of it – it’s a thank you and good luck.

“They’ve not had the best of starts but I do honestly believe they’ll be all right this season with the players and management they’ve got.

“They’ve got a really good support base to do well. It’s easy to say as a player, but obviously I’m not there any more and I genuinely believe they’ll be fine.”

Echosport understands Blair is in the squad for Eastleigh’s clash at Bromley today (3pm).