New signing Brian Dutton insists he has joined the Hawks to get promoted.
The 29-year-old ex-Salisbury City combative holding midfield player has signed a one-year deal at Westleigh Park.
He is manager Lee Bradbury’s third signing of the summer, joining goalkeeper Ryan Young, from AFC Telford, and striker Bradley Bubb, who was released by Aldershot.
It is a step down for Dutton, who played 22 games for Salisbury in the Skrill Premier last season.
Dutton, however, doesn’t view the move as a backward step.
He said: ‘I cut my ties with Salisbury at the end of last season, looking for something fresh to motivate me.
‘The plans that Lee Bradbury has here to take the club forward excited me and is something I want to be part of.
‘I feel the club will be successful and I decided to jump on board.
‘It is one step back to make two steps forward is the way I look at it.
‘This is a club that can get promoted next season and to me that appeals more than staying where I was.
‘I had a great time at Salisbury, captaining the team to two promotions but everything runs its course.
‘Coming here offers me something fresh and invigorating.
‘Though the Conference South is a tough league, the Hawks only justmissed out on making the play-offs on goal difference.
‘The foundations are here and I think the league is there for the taking.’
Missing out on the play-offs and also in the FA Trophy semi-finals and the Hampshire Senior Cup last season was a bitter pill for the Hawks to swallow.
Bradbury and his assistant Shaun Gale are determined to build a squad who can go one better on all three fronts.
They are fed up of being labelled the nearly men and want to be winners instead.
Gale regards signing Dutton as a big step in the right direction for the Westleigh Park outfit.
‘Brian is a great catch for us in our bid to improve on last season,’ said the Hawks’ assistant boss.
‘He is the sort of player who can help us in the areas we fell a bit short in and help get us across the line.
‘The lad fits the bill in lots of areas.
‘He has got out of this league before, has a winning mentality, is a good age and possesses bags of experience.
‘We can play him in a holding role in midfield, with his ability to pass the ball, and if, worst-case scenario, we suffer injuries in central defence he can slot back there.
‘There are some big, strong, physical sides in our league.
‘And he will improve our ability to deal with that.
‘We have signed three experienced players and things are looking good.
‘If we can get one or two more of our targets then we will be more than happy.’