Deals are already done for eight new additions ahead of next season with Hawks set for another big summer squad shake-up

Hawks boss Paul Doswell has already agreed deals to bring EIGHT new players to Westleigh Park for the 2021/22 season.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 12:07 pm
Hawks boss Paul Doswell. Picture: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

And members of the current squad who will not be part of the club's plans moving forward have been informed.

Despite Hawks' National League South season being declared null and void in February, work has remained ongoing off the field.

Boss Doswell, chairman Derek Pope and chief executive Stuart Munro have continued meeting on a bi-weekly basis since 2020/21 was halted to discuss player targets, the current squad and future goals.

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The recruitment drive has been high on the list of priorities for the trio, with Doswell admitting he didn't feel things were ‘right’ in terms of the squad assembled last term.

But the process of remedying that issue for next season is already in full flow, as the Hawks boss has attracted eight new faces to the club and will be pushing for more signings ahead of their pre-season return on June 26.

Doswell said: ‘We’ve made lots and lots of phone calls, lots of conversations have gone on with players. I’ve got to say I’m really, really happy with our recruitment and the players that will be coming in.

‘It’s pretty clear to everyone, regardless of Covid and regardless of the stop-start element to the season, we didn’t feel we got it right last year.

‘They’ll be big changes this summer and the ones we’ve already spoken to and committed to come ... it’s an exciting time.

‘We’ve probably got up to eight new players who have agreed to come, obviously we’re going to wait until June 26 for them to come down to announce it, all handshakes are done and all the various bits of paper have gone backwards and forwards.

‘They’re all handpicked, they were on our target list, and we’ve had a really good success rate in bringing in who we’ve wanted to bring in.

‘There are still a couple I’m working on but, ultimately, the work on this sort of stuff never stops.

‘I’m really happy with recruitment, we just need to hit the ground running hard when we come back on June 26.’

Doswell confirmed those within the current squad on two-year contracts - Sam Magri, Ross Worner, Tommy Wright, Billy Clifford, Theo Widdrington, Benny Read, George McLennan and Godfrey Poku, who is currently sidelined with an ACL injury - will be remaining at the club next term.

He also revealed those on deals for the 2020-21 season have been made aware whether they are part of the club's plans moving forward.

Doswell added: ‘It’s fair to let players know where they stand.

‘Obviously, from our point of view, we try to do everything fairly and give people plenty of opportunities to be aware of what their situations are.

‘Like I said, it’s a difficult situation because at the minute we’ve got people all on furlough and in terms of the release of players they’re all contracted until the end of June anyway.

'There’s nothing that’s going to happen before July with the players we’ve got but I’m just making the point that they know whether they’re going to be with us with the team or not.

‘That’s all happened in this past week or two as well.

‘It’s always a busy period, it’s not where we just switch off.’