Eastbourne Borough believe Chris Winterton can become a serious challenger for the No. 1 shirt at Priory Lane.

Former Albion goalkeeper Winterton has joined the Blue Square premier new boys to offer competition to long-serving Lee Hook.

Hook has been a fundamental part of Borough's success in recent years, clocking up more than 250 appearances since signing Sittingbourne in 2003.

But Borough assistant-manager Nick Greenwood insists Winterton has not been signed just to play second fiddle to Hook.

Eastbourne-born Winterton, 19, spent one season as a professional with Albion before being released at the end of last season without making a first team appearance.

He enjoyed loan spells at Burgess Hill and Horsham YMCA last season and was wanted by Lewes this summer.

Greenwood said: "We are really pleased to sign Chris. He is a local boy, which we always like, and he will be given every opportunity to stake a claim to get in the first team.

"For the last couple of years Dean Lightwood has covered the bench for matches but he feels he cannot do that any more.

"Lee has never really had competition for his place and we felt he needed to be pushed. We needed a goalkeeper who could fight for a place in the team."

Winterton comes from a good footballing background. His father, Dave, was an accomplished goalkeeper, playing for Crawley Town, Eastbourne Town and Sussex.

Greenwood believes he has all the attributes to be a success at Priory Lane. He said: "Chris has great promise, he is the right size and shape and we are looking forward to working with him.

"I am sure he has every chance of going on to establish himself in the first team."

Winterton becomes Borough's fourth summer signing following the arrivals of Simon Wormull and Jean-Michel Sigere from Lewes plus Mo Harkin from Havant and Waterlooville.

Crowborough striker Ross Treleaven and Eastbourne United forward Sam Crabb, who were each dual signed at the end of last season, are being given the opportunity to become permanent members of the squad.

Borough begin their pre-season campaign away to Eastbourne Town on Tuesday July 15. They visit Bognor on Saturday July 19 before playing Horsham at Worthing on July 22, Tonbridge Angels on July 26 and Havant and Waterlooville on July 29.

The only home pre-season friendly is against Bromley on Saturday August 2.

Is Chris Winterton a good signing for Borough?