Ex-Brighton striker Jonah Ayunga can put himself in Football League shop window at Havant & Waterlooville - and that may include Portsmouth interest

Paul Doswell is convinced Jonah Ayunga can fire himself into the Football League if he has a successful season at the Hawks.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 2:00 pm
Updated Monday, 15th July 2019, 2:28 pm
4/7/19 STORY: Hawks back training for the first time after going full-time at Front Lawn Recreation Ground Somborne Dr, Havant. Pictured: Jonah Ayunga. Picture: Habibur Rahman

And the boss wouldn’t be surprised if Pompey were to run the rule of the striker if he nets 20 goals.

Ayunga returned to Westleigh Park from Sutton this summer following a brief loan spell that yielded two goals in four appearances last season.

The former Brighton man fired a pair of doubles as the Hawks won their opening two pre-season friendlies against Alresford Town and Bognor.

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The Hawks' Jonah Ayunga in action against Pompey. Picture: Dave Haines

He then proved a handful in his side's 2-1 defeat to Pompey on Saturday.

Ayunga failed to make a breakthrough at the Seagulls after signing from Dorchester in 2016, spending spells out on loan Burgess Hill and Irish outfits Sligo and Galway.

At the latter, he suffered a devastating leg break and when Doswell signed the marksman at Sutton last year, he still wasn't over the injury.

However, the Hawks manager feels Ayunga is capable of having a prolific campaign if he remains unscathed.

And that would put the 22-year-old in the shop window for Football League clubs to have a look.

Doswell said: ‘As a striker, you want to get your season going early and it’ll be a massive confidence booster.

‘Brighton signed him and he had a year in their academy. As people know, young players can get lost sometimes.

‘When I got him at Sutton, we still had to be very careful with Jonah because he still had plates in his chin.

‘He didn’t progress as quickly as he’d have liked. He had little spells when he was unplayable then other spells where he needed to improve massively.

'This is now a big season for him. If he can go and have an injury-free campaign and score 20-25 goals then he’ll put himself right in the shop window to go into the Football League.

‘I’m very hopeful if he has a good year then he can get back to where he wants to be.’

Kenny Jackett hasn’t been scared to survey the non-league market as Pompey boss, having signed the likes of Oli Hawkins and Louis Dennis.

Doswell feels a successful campaign for Ayunga could lead to the Blues showing interest.

He added: ‘We want all of our young lads to progress if they can.

‘If he keeps doing what he did against Alresford then I’m sure Portsmouth would be the first ones to take him, that’s for sure.’