Brad Lyons will join Championship side Blackburn Rovers on loan until January, when he will then commence an 18-month contract.
The Coleraine midfielder was present at Seaview on Monday evening as the Bannsiders defeated Crusaders to move top of the Danske Bank Premiership.
Lyons’ transfer for an undisclosed fee was finalised on Tuesday and the 21-year - who scored 19 goals in 119 appearances - says the deal is a dream come true.
“It was always my dream to become a professional footballer and now it is coming true,” he told BBC Sport NI.
“It’s very hard to leave the boys in the changing room because we’re all like brothers - there’s a great connection among us and you can see on the pitch that we’re fighting and playing for each other.
“It’s just as hard to leave the fans. The reception I got at Seaview was emotional for me and my family but Coleraine will always stay in my heart and maybe I’ll come back one day to play for them.”
Lyons went on trial with Blackburn recently and the final touches to the deal were put in place over the past few weeks.
He added: “You see the way Coleraine played against Crusaders and it’s hard to leave but I know I’m moving on to better things and into a full-time football environment.
“I’m going into my final year at university and I concentrate on my education massively but Blackburn are helping me with my education and that’s very important - that’s what got the deal over the line.
“I just have to get my head down and get used to full-time training because that’s the big difference for all the players that go over.”
He made his debut in 2014 and became established as a key part of Oran Kearney’s midfield line-up at Coleraine.
Last season, Lyons made over 30 appearances as Coleraine embarked on a thrilling campaign, winning the Irish Cup and sealing second in the Premiership.