New-look Hawks include all 12 summer signings in thumping opening pre-season friendly win at Horndean

Hawks had a fresh look as they thumped Horndean 6-1 at Five Heads Park to kick-off pre-season in fine style.

By Lewis Mason
Sunday, 4th July 2021, 1:40 pm
Summer signing scored in Hawks' friendly win at Horndean. Picture: Kieron Louloudis
Summer signing scored in Hawks' friendly win at Horndean. Picture: Kieron Louloudis

Manager Paul Doswell handed playing time to all 12 of his summer recruits against Michael Birmingham's men.

Scott Rendell became the latest player to commit to the Westleigh Park club just hours before kick-off - and even netted Hawks' final goal in the 6-1 rout.

Goalkeeper Charlie Searle - signed from Baffins Milton Rovers at the back end of last week - played the full 90 minutes after rejoining the club.

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Striker Alex Wall struck for Hawks at Horndean. Picture: Kieron Louloudis

Those two were joined by new signings Joe Oastler, James Roberts, Alex Wall, Jake McCarthy, Paul Rooney, Josh Passley, Michael Green, Joe Newton, Jamie Collins and Abdulai Baggie in being given their first Hawks run-outs after arriving in the close season.

Doswell was pleased to be able to blood his summer recruits for the first time on what he felt was a ‘fantastic’ pre-season opener at Horndean.

He said: ‘It was good to win well and there were no injuries, which was the most important thing.

‘I’ve got to say, the lads looked fit, it’s still early early days and we’ve only been back for a week. I think within that week we’ve done some good work with them.

‘The biggest thing for me, we picked up no injuries, strains or anything else.

‘I know it sounds that we’ve made a lot of signings but we’ve still only got 18 players.

‘We had a couple of younger ones to help out, it was a great exercise, Horndean are a good side and it was a good day for everyone.’

Strikers Tommy Wright (two), Wall, Rendell and Roberts were all on the scoresheet at Horndean, with Tommy Widdrington completing the scoring.

Doswell was delighted to see his front men get off the mark early in pre-season.

And the Hawks boss explained how he swooped to beat Maidstone United to capture former Crawley, Peterborough and Forest Green Rovers striker Rendell.

Doswell said: ‘All the strikers scored, Alex Wall, Wrighty (Tommy Wright got two), James Roberts and Scott Rendell even got one in the last 10 minutes.

‘From that point of view, it’s important for the strikers to get off the mark.

‘We always had him in mind (Scott Rendell) to compete with Alex Wall for the number nine spot.

‘He’d been talking to Maidstone for a long time and I honestly thought he’d end up getting a deal done with Maidstone.

‘We had a chat on Monday, he trained with us three days and looked really sharp, for us it was a bit of a no-brainer because we were looking for that experienced centre-forward who could compete with Alex Wall.’

Rendell's arrival has signalled the end of Josh Oyinsan's, who was due to stay at the club for a two-week trial, brief time at Westleigh Park.

Doswell had planned to run the rule over him in training and some of Hawks' opening pre-season fixtures prior to landing Rendell.

Meanwhile, summer signing Oastler has been named captain for the upcoming season, with McCarthy taking on a vice-captaincy role and Collins named club captain.