Hawks snap up left-back

Danny Blanchett has joined the Hawks
Danny Blanchett has joined the Hawks
Horndean are aiming to make Cup progress at the second attempt

Deans must take second chance in Cup... Royals will be strong

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The Hawks have strengthened for the new season by signing Danny Blanchett.

The 26-year-old left-back has agreed a move to Westleigh Park to bolster boss Lee Bradbury’s options at the back following the loss of Chris Arthur to AFC Wimbledon last month.

Blanchett’s former clubs include Peterborough, Crewe and Burton Albion.

Meanwhile, the Hawks are refusing to panic despite not having a recognised goalkeeper on their books.

Bradbury has so far failed to recruit a replacement for Clark Masters, who left for Tonbridge Angels at the end of last season, when young shot-stoppers Dan Thomas and Matt Pegler were also released.

With the first pre-season friendly at home against Wycombe Wanderers just 10 days away, some fans are getting a little nervous.

But assistant boss Shaun Gale insists they have nothing to worry about.

‘We are very close to doing a deal with a player and are just waiting for a couple of things to happen,’ he said.

‘Everything is in hand and I am 100-per-cent certain we will have a keeper in place for our opening friendly.

‘The person we are after is an experienced keeper.

‘We have a relatively young back four so it is important we get someone with some experience behind them.’

Gale has also defended his decision to allow Nathan Ashmore to join Gosport when he was Hawks boss.

When first-team regular Aaron Howe departed to Woking in the summer of 2011, the expectation was that Ashmore would step up and take his place. But after a difficult start, Ashmore was dropped and soon found himself at Privett Park.

Despite the keeper since excelling at the Hawks’ new Blue Square Bet South rivals, Gale has no regrets.

‘Nathan needed to go out and play games,’ he said.

‘He was always going to be a very good goalkeeper but at the time it was the right decision because he wasn’t ready for Conference South.’