Derbyshire CCC have completed the signing of Billy Godleman on a two-year contract.
The 23-year-old left-handed batsman has already gained notable experience at the top of the order, having played 69 first-class matches and 41 limited-overs fixtures, passing 50 on 26 occasions in all first team cricket with five centuries.
Godleman spent his formative years at Middlesex, where he became the second youngest first-class cricketer for the county, behind teammate Steven Finn, back in 2005 and scored his maiden century on LV= County Championship debut versus Somerset in 2007.
He has spent the last three seasons with Essex, playing 33 four-day matches and netting 1,640 runs with three centuries and a further seven 50.
Overall, Godleman has scored 3,447 first class runs during his career.
He was a prodigious talent at England junior level, representing England schools at under 15s, 16s, 17s and 18s level as well as England under 19s, where he made the highest ODI score in under 19s history; an unbeaten 149 versus Pakistan in 2007.
Godleman said: “I am thrilled to be joining Derbyshire and very much looking forward to playing my part in helping the club become established as a force in English cricket.
“I’ve been inspired by the club’s leadership since we first began talking and I’m looking forward to repaying their faith when the 2013 season gets underway.
“Karl Krikken’s passion for the county has been a major factor in my decision to commit to Derbyshire; so has our specialist batting coach Dave Houghton’s belief in my ability.
“My first-class career began very early with a century on debut at 17, but it has not progressed as I would have liked during the past couple of seasons.
“However, I believe this opportunity with one of the most ambitious and progressive clubs in the game will provide the platform to re-establish my early credentials as a prospective England player.
“If I can develop my game in all formats within Derbyshire’s committed learning environment, I believe my runs at the top of the order can provide the foundation to build more success for the team next season.”
Head coach Karl Krikken added: “Billy is a talented batsman who, at 23, has a great chance to develop at the club and fulfil his potential.
“He already has experience under his belt, yet he remains ambitious, his game is still developing, he is hungry for success and he still has plenty to prove; factors that combine to make Billy an exciting signing.”