Midfielder has change of heart over Hawks deal

Eddie Hutchinson has now penned a one-year deal to stay with the Hawks  Picture: Dave Haines
Eddie Hutchinson has now penned a one-year deal to stay with the Hawks Picture: Dave Haines
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A dramatic change of heart has seen experienced midfielder Eddie Hutchinson sign a new one-year deal with the Hawks.

The decision comes just two weeks after Hutchinson walked out of Westleigh Park after rejecting a revised offer on reduced money.

Hutchinson felt at the time that he was worth more than what was on the table.

But the 31-year-old has made a U-turn and will now return to the Hawks in Blue Square Bet South next season.

Manager Lee Bradbury is delighted to have Hutchinson back in the fold and insists the change of heart came from the player.

‘We have not made him a better offer,’ said Bradbury.

‘I think he’s seen what’s out there and he knows with us he has a club where things are done right. That is one of the major attractions to him coming back.

‘His experience can be a crucial factor in a relatively-young side.

‘He has bags of experience at a higher level and can be a big help alongside our younger players.’

Hutchinson was brought in towards the end of the 2011-12 season to help the Hawks in their relegation battle.

The former Brentford and Oxford United man played a key role in keeping the club up in a tense finale that went to the final seconds of the last game of the season.

Last term, Hutchinson was a crucial factor once again, making the Hawks hard to beat.

Very often the aggressive midfielder was handed the role of playing in front of the back four, successfully breaking up opposition moves.

‘Hutch’ is very much a heart-on-your-sleeve player who will always give 100 per cent, adding a bit of bite and steel in the middle of the park.

Recognising the importance of experience in the competitive environment that is Blue Square Bet South, Bradbury has also done a deal to secure the return of Pedro ‘Pele’ Monteiro for next season.

The ex-West Brom and Southampton professional joined the Hawks in March on a non-contract basis but had limited opportunities to display his skills.

But on the rare occasions he made the side, the 34-year-old showed great composure on the ball.

‘I am pleased to have two experienced players alongside the youngsters in my squad,’ said Bradbury.

‘With Pele, he knows he isn’t going to play every game and it is a case of picking and choosing the right times for him.’

Bradbury’s search for a goalkeeper and left-sided player continues after the departure of Clark Masters to Tonbridge Angels and Chris Arthur to AFC Wimbledon.

The former Pompey striker is looking for an experienced shot-stopper and insists he isn’t far away from completing a deal.

The Hawks will meet three Football League sides in their pre-season friendlies, with games at Westleigh Park against Wycombe Wanderers (July 6), Pompey (July 9) and Newport County (July 20).