Dan Smith believes being shown the door by Plymouth Argyle could be a blessing in disguise.

The winger signed for Eastbourne Borough yesterday after being released by the Championship club he had been with since the age of ten.

Joining a largely part-time non-league club appears a huge step down for the 19-year-old but Smith says he jumped at the chance to return to Priory Lane.

He enjoyed a successful three-month loan spell at Borough last season and feels the club is the perfect place to kickstart his career.

He said: “Being released might just be the best thing that has happened to me. I’ve got a fresh start now and it is up to me to show people what I can do.

“I lost my enjoyment of the game a bit at Plymouth because I wasn’t playing and my confidence took a bit of a battering so it was time for a change.

“I had prepared myself for the worst at Plymouth but I wasn’t 100% sure if I was going to be let go until it happened. There were a few other clubs interested in taking me but when Eastbourne made an offer I accepted straight away.

“To be honest I can’t wait for the season to start. I don’t really need a summer rest as I hardly played last season and just want to get out there playing again.

“I’m looking forward to getting a run of games next season. I don’t think the Eastbourne fans have seen the best of me yet and once I get my confidence up I’ll be aiming to show what I can really do.”

Smith was a big hit when he arrived at Priory Lane with Plymouth club-mate Ashley Barnes last November and together they helped turn around Borough’s faltering season.

Barnes may have grabbed the majority of the headlines but Smith played his part too with three goals and countless assists in his 14 games.

Borough’s form dipped again when the pair returned to Home Park but the club still managed to finish an impressive 13th in their debut season in Blue Square premier.

Smith is confident they can improve on that feat next season after being impressed with the quality of Borough’s signings already this summer.

The winger is the fourth player to commit himself to the club in the last few days after goalkeepers Danny Knowles and Michael Jordan and striker Liam Marum also put pen to paper.

Smith insists his goal is to make a swift return to the Football League but believes he can realistically achieve that dream with Borough.

He added: “Yes I am dropping down a few divisions but it is still a good standard and I am hoping I can use it to push on. I need to be playing games regularly and if I get that chance I might catch somebody’s eye.

“I want to get back into the League with a full-time club but I don’t see why that can’t be with Eastbourne.

“Garry (Wilson, manager) has told me he is going to have a strong team next year so hopefully we will be battling near the top of the table.

“It was a really good achievement to finish where they did last year but I think we can push on from there.

“I think it is a realistic aim for us to win promotion which would be brilliant.”