Midfielder Oscar Gobern spent pre-season with Aldershot but opts for Hawks move after manager Paul Doswell's approach

Paul Doswell explained how Hawks swooped in to beat National League side Aldershot to the signing of Oscar Gobern.

By Lewis Mason
Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 7:45 pm
Hawks boss Paul Doswell. Picture: Martyn White
Hawks boss Paul Doswell. Picture: Martyn White

The former Southampton and Huddersfield midfielder moves to Westleigh Park on a one-year contract, dropping down to play in the sixth tier of English football for the first time in his career.

After the expiration of his contract at Dover this summer, Gobern has spent the past few weeks taking part in Aldershot's pre-season training programme.

The 30-year-old trained and featured for the Shots in the hope of earning a deal with Danny Searle's fifth tier side.

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New Hawks signing Oscar Gobern in action for former club Huddersfield. Picture: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

However, with injuries mounting within his squad, Doswell decided to approach Gobern and a deal was soon struck.

The Hawks boss revealed: ‘He’s been at Aldershot, I think he played three games for Aldershot, I think they were talking to him about getting a deal done. But, obviously, we’ve swooped in over the weekend and we’ve offered him something positive there and then. As is football, sometimes you take what you need to take.

‘He spoke to three or four players, he knows a lot of our players from being at Dover with Josh Passley and Paul Rooney, he knows a couple of boys from Eastleigh with Jamie Collins and Michael Green being there.

‘For him, he’s got an ambition to try to win something, he’s also comfortable in the environment knowing we’re full-time and he already knew a lot of the players.

‘I think the injuries we’ve suffered in the last week of pre-season, Jamie Collins, Sam Magri, Paul Rooney - we’re already missing Benny Read and Godfrey Poku - it’s made the squad look really, really thin. It’s particularly thin in that centre-half and holding midfield position.

‘We’ve been very deliberate in who we’ve brought in this year - a week ago we weren’t looking to bring anyone in, we were happy - but these three or four injuries coming at this time show me that we’re probably one or two short.

‘I’m delighted to bring him in, he’s a lad that I’ve known since he was 18/19, used to watch him regularly at Southampton.

‘I’ve watched his career since at Huddersfield and subsequently at Eastleigh and Dover, so to get a player of his quality in the squad this late, I think it’s a win-win for him. It’s a win-win for us and I’ve got high hopes he’ll do well with us.’

Doswell insists despite a drop down in standard from featuring in the Football League with Southampton and Huddersfield to joining sixth tier Hawks, Gobern's hunger has never diminished.

And the Hawks boss feels he's getting a player who can have an instant impact at the club.

Doswell said: ‘The thing I like about him - sometimes players drop from a higher level and they keep dropping and lose that hunger, they lose that intensity - you want to make sure you don’t have too many of those in your squad because, unfortunately, they don’t end up any better than any other player.

‘Oscar’s still got the hunger and desire to want to do well, he loves playing football, he hasn’t got many miles on the clock and I think he wants to have three or four more good years in his career yet.

‘He’s come in here with a real upbeat personality and someone who wants to achieve something.’