Sam Northeast has set his sights on winning trophies for Hampshire – five years after first considering a move to his new county.

The 28 year-old, speaking at an Ageas Bowl press conference after completing his move from Kent, is looking forward to his first season in the County Championship’s top flight since 2010.

“I would have regretted finishing my career not being able to play at the highest level in England,” he said.

“It’s going to be a challenge but is one I feel I’m up to.”

Northeast left his home county after being replaced as captain last month.

“It’s been a bit of a strange winter but finally we managed to get over the line,” he said.

“I’m really excited about the next chapter.

“I know I had a chat with Hampshire four or five years ago and was really impressed with the set-up then and the people.

“I met with some other really good counties this time but in the end this felt like the right move.

“The team is going places, the squad looks really exciting.

“I’m excited to be a part of that and trying to win trophies.

“It’s the right time to take the next step in my career and kick on I feel like this is the place I can do that.

“Hampshire have had a very good squad over the years and the way they play their cricket has always really appealed.

“We have the potential to win trophies in one-day cricket and the championship.

“It’s a team with a nice blend of experience and good young players coming through.

“I’m ready to get stuck in.”

Northeast has happy memories of the Ageas Bowl.

He has made 647 of his 7,924 championship runs at an average of 53.91 against Hampshire – including 422 at 70.33 at West End, where he scored division two centuries in 2012 and 2014.

“There have always been really good surfaces here, really true with nice carry and I’ve scored a few runs here,” he continued.

“It feels familiar, there’s no doubt about that.”

Northeast does not need too many introductions having played alongside some of his new teammates.

“I grew up with Daws [Liam Dawson] and Vincey [James Vince] playing [England] age-group with them and it was a factor to a certain extent, it’s nice to go into a changing room and know a few faces,” he continued.

“But it’s more the fact that Hampshire is a county that is moving forward with a really exciting squad and coaches that can take my game to the next level.”

Rod Bransgrove was sat alongside Northeast during Hampshire’s most formal unveiling of a player since Kevin Pietersen was signed more than 13 years ago.

“Within a month of Sam starting for us he’ll have played more games for us than Kevin Pietersen did,” quipped Hampshire’s chairman.

“It’s a very significant signing. Sam’s right in our sweet spot, he’s exactly the kind of player we were looking to supplement the squad.

“We’ve been tracking him for some years.

“The last time we agreed was probably not the right time but this is exactly the right time.

“He’s proved his credentials in all forms of cricket and will fit seamlessly into the team immediately.

“The team is in a little transition, we’ve lost [Michael] Carberry and [Will] Smith and [James] Vince is in the England set-up at the moment so we needed a reliable top-order batsman.

“We weren’t going to sign players for the sake of it, there were half a dozen we were interested in if they became available.

“Sam’s one of them and we’re very pleased to have won the race for his signature.”

Northeast is expected to replace George Bailey at number four in the Championship.

“George is settling down with his wife and rapidly increasing family so we’ll thank him for his efforts and wish him all the best, he’s been a fantastic person to have around,” continued Bransgrove.

“Sam certainly fits into that spot and maybe a little higher in white-ball cricket but that’s for him and the selectors.”

Northeast said: “Three, four, five in all forms is where I’ve played at my best.

“I opened at the beginning of my career and gradually slid down.

“Hopefully I’ll make that four or three my own but will do whatever fits the team.”

Northeast is understood to have signed a four-year contract and it will be a surprise if he does not captain Hampshire at some stage.

But that is unlikely to be the case this season.

Vince will captain Hampshire in all forms in Bailey’s absence but there are other contenders when he is on England duty.

“There are plenty of senior players who could step in, for a player to captain in his first season maybe rushing it so that hasn’t been the intention at this stage,” added Bransgrove.

Northeast has plenty of cricket before Hampshire’s Championship opener against Worcestershire on April 13.

He will be playing for England Lions’ one-day team alongside Dawson against West Indies A in a fortnight’s time, before captaining the South in the annual 50-over series against the North in Barbados.

Meanwhile, Hampshire have no immediate plans to sign an overseas replacement for Bailey.

”We haven’t necessarily ruled out signing another overseas player but, as always, only if a ‘worldy’ comes up,”said Bransgrove.

“There are a lot of players around but they don’t all fit the credentials of a high profile, very productive overseas player.

“I don’t think there will be any more recruits.

“We wouldn’t want to exclude extraordinary opportunities but I’m very happy with the squad as it is and I think [director of cricket] Giles [White] is as well.”

“If we keep everyone fit and have a reasonably predictable loss of players to England I believe we’ll be very much in the frame to make a challenge [for the Championship] this season.”