HAWKS have completed the signing of former Pompey defender Perry Ryan.
The 19-year-old has been training with the Westleigh Park club during the summer after he was released by the Blues at the end of last season.
He also featured in the Hawks first friendly win of the summer, a 2-0 success over Gosport Borough at Privett Park.
Ryan spent the latter part of last season on loan with Bognor in the Ryman League but the Hawks have swooped to secure his signature.
And manager Shaun Gale has been impressed with the Copnor-based youngster.
‘Perry has done well and possesses a great attitude,’ said Gale.
‘We need to get him out of that academy mode of football he is in at times but he’s a good asset.
‘He has come in and trained all pre-season, can play in a number of positions, gets around the park well, is a good size and competes.
‘That is something we need in our league.’
Ryan himself feels he has benefited from getting a full pre-season under his belt and hopes to take that into the start of the campaign.
‘Being with the Hawks has been a good experience,’ said Ryan.
‘I was in contact with Shaun at the start of the summer.
‘He asked me to come down and it has been good.
‘I am versatile, so can play in a few positions – right-back, centre-back and centre midfield.
‘Wherever he wants we to play I am happy to go out and do a job.
‘It was tough being released by Portsmouth and an eye-opener.
‘Finances were tough at Portsmouth and last season there was no reserve team which made it difficult to get noticed.
‘It isn’t easy when you find yourself released by a professional club but I have my family and friends around me who give me great support.
‘I went out to Bognor on loan and luckily Shaun has given me the opportunity to come down and play games.
‘That has given me more confidence and I am feeling fit in myself.’
Ryan played the second-half against La Liga side Real Betis last weekend and after also being involved in the Hawks’ victory at Gosport the teenager believes both fixtures provided perfect preparation for the season.
‘It was a tough run out against Gosport who came out and gave us little respect,’ said Ryan.
‘We were the stronger team by far and should have dominated earlier.
‘I played the second half against Real Betis and that was a real education.
‘They have just gone up to La Liga and you wouldn’t expect any different.
‘They got some early goals and even in the second half they showed lots of energy and typical of any Spanish team were excellent with anything on the floor.’
The Hawks can now look ahead to their penultimate friendly before the start of the league season, when they face New Milton Town on Saturday.
This replaces Friday night’s scheduled visit to Lewes which has been cancelled.
Gale’s side will then complete their preparations next Tuesday when they entertain a Southampton XI at Westleigh Park (7.45pm).