Former England youth ace and Sierra Leone international Abdulai Baggie ready excite Hawks faithful

Winger Abdulai Baggie wants to get back doing what he does best following his Hawks move - exciting supporters.

Thursday, 24th June 2021, 8:00 pm
Abdulai Baggie (foreground) in National League South action for Weymouth against Hampton & Richmond Borough in February, 2020. Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images.
Abdulai Baggie (foreground) in National League South action for Weymouth against Hampton & Richmond Borough in February, 2020. Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images.

The Sierra Leone international felt he was unable to have the impact he hoped in Eastleigh's National League play-off push last term.

But now he's swapped the Spitfires for Westleigh Park, the 29-year-old is hungry to play a key part scoring, assisting and getting the Hawks faithful off their seats in 2021/22.

Baggie, who represented England under-16 and under-17s, endured a 'frustrating' campaign with Eastleigh last season, featuring 20 times in the fifth tier - seven of which were sub appearances - and scoring just once.

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Abdulai Baggie has signed for Hawks after being released by Eastleigh. Pic: Kieron Louloudis.

Yet, after agreeing a one-year deal to drop down to the National League South, the pacy winger is hoping he can form part of a potent strike force alongside Alex Wall, Tommy Wright and James Roberts for Paul Doswell's side next term.

Baggie said: 'I’m not just settled here for being in the National League South or even the National League, the aim is to still kick on, score goals, create goals and excite people, which I thought I didn’t really do that last year, which I’m renowned for.

‘I just want to hit the ground running at the start of the season and I’m ready to go.

‘In football terms, especially when the fans are coming back, it is about exciting the fans and getting people off their seat and cheering the lads on.

‘I just want to score and create goals, which I’ve done for the past two seasons - especially my last season at Weymouth - so I want to still continue that.’

Baggie netted 12 goals and provided eight assists to help Weymouth finish in the 2019/20 National League South play-off zone. He had joined Eastleigh by the time the play-offs took place last July, where the Terras ended up winning promotion under Mark Molesley.

‘My job is to create and score and if I’m not doing that I’m not happy, that’s for sure,' Baggie added.

‘It was a tough season (at Eastleigh).

‘I started off the season well and then I picked up a knee injury, came back, and all of a sudden I wasn’t playing.

‘It was a frustrating season for me personally, I think I could have played a lot more, but things happened and injuries are part and parcel of the game.'

Baggie, who spent three years in the EFL with Tranmere Rovers between 2012-15, says he'll be setting himself individual goal and assist targets for the season - but will keep those private.

And he admits there will be a big responsibility on him to provide an 'extra' spark in the final third for the Hawks.

Baggie said: ‘Yeah, definitely (sets personal targets). Last year I had the same goal and wherever I go it’s always going to be the same goal - it’s not going to be any different now.

‘The aim is to score and create goals, that’s what I get judged on; obviously the other side of it is the defensive side of it.

'We all can run and we all can do the hard work; at the end of the day, it’s doing that extra bit in the final third to create and score goals which wins you football matches.

‘I’ve got in mind a few targets. It’s going to be steady targets where I take it step by step and once I hit that I’ll raise the bar again.

‘I’m looking forward to the season, I’m very excited.’