NEW HAWKS centre-back Ed Harris believes he has joined a club that is on its way up.
The former AFC Wimbledon and Dover Athletic defender is adamant his latest employers have an exciting future ahead of them.
And as new boss Stuart Ritchie begins to stamp his authority on the Blue Square Bet South side following his summer arrival, Harris is determined to play a key part in helping the Hawks achieve their goals.
‘I hope to be here for a long time,’ said Harris.
‘The chairman, Derek Pope, and the manager are both looking to take the club places which is something that attracted me.
‘They want to take the club in a forward direction and, hopefully, into the Blue Square Bet Premier in the next couple of years.
‘It is a big club and the only way is up really.
‘Last season I was at Dover but I was travelling over a hundred miles just to get there.
‘The travelling was demanding and it was proving too much.
‘The Hawks are just 40 minutes away down the A3, so it will make life a lot easier. I knew a few of the players here already and they all said good things about the club, so it was a first choice move for me.’
The 22-year-old began his career with Queens Park Rangers but, after failing to make the first team, he went to Hayes & Yeading on loan.
AFC Wimbledon snapped him up and he made 23 appearances for The Fans Stadium side before going to Dover Athletic on loan last season.
He made 28 appearances for the Blue Square Bet South side, impressing with his solid defending.
And with the Hawks suffering from a brittle rearguard last term, they are looking to Harris and fellow newcomer Sam Page – signed from Sutton United – to help solve the problems in that area.
The pair made their first appearance together in the 2-1 friendly win over Carshalton at the weekend – and first impressions were favourable.
Harris was glad of the chance to get on the pitch with his new team-mates.
‘It is always good to get the first game over with,’ he said.
‘I thought we did well considering we haven’t had a chance to play together before because of the weather.
‘It is mainly about getting fit and it isn’t nice when you get cramp after an hour.
‘Carshalton had a number of good players who have dropped out of the Premier division and gave us a good test.
‘We came from behind to win and we could have won by more.
‘I had a chance which maybe I should have put away.
‘It is now about getting into good habits in the games ahead.’