Boro make double swoop

Paul Hinshelwood is on the verge of joining Gosport Borough   Picture: Dave Haines
Paul Hinshelwood is on the verge of joining Gosport Borough Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Hawks boss shrugs off setback in Cornwall

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Alex Pike has got his summer recruitment plans off the ground with the addition of two new defenders.

The Gosport Borough boss has agreed a deal in principle to bring in former Hawks defender Paul Hinshelwood to bolster his squad.

And Pike has also taken a calculated gamble on Portuguese defender Ricardo Viana – despite never having seen him kick a ball.

The 26-year-old Viana has recently moved to the UK from Portugal and e-mailed the club after doing his research.

Having played professionally for Portuguese fourth-tier outfit Desportiva de Grijó, the defender, who can also operate in midfield, has also turned out for União Sport Clube Paredes and Chengdu Blades in China.

Pike explained: ‘Gosport’s scouting network doesn’t quite extend to Portugal just yet!

‘But at this time of year, you get loads of e-mails and he sent his footballing CV. It was very impressive.

‘He has been a professional footballer in Portugal and China.

‘And you get a feel for people and can work out if they are genuine. We might just have a little gem there.

‘His missus has just got a job over here as a nurse and he looked us up, saw that we had got promoted and felt it was a good level.

‘I haven’t seen him play yet.

‘But it can’t be a risk because we have taken him on a non-contract basis.

‘He will have pre-season with us and we will have a good look at him.

‘I haven’t signed too many players without seeing them play but sometimes you have to take a punt.

‘Look what happened with Charlie Austin at Wimborne Town.

‘He turned up on their doorstep but they wanted to see all kinds of things before they gave him a chance so he went off to Poole Town.

‘Wimborne missed out on him and the rest is history as he’s gone on to Swindon and Burnley and earnt Poole a lot of money.

‘Sometimes you just have to take a risk and get in there first.’

While Viana may be unfamiliar with Blue Square Bet South, Hinshelwood knows all about it after his association with the Hawks.

And Pike believes the 25-year-old’s knowledge and versatility will be vital to his side next season.

The Borough boss said: ‘A deal has been agreed in principle with Paul – it just needs the chairman to rubber-stamp it.

‘But we’re really pleased to get him.

‘He will bring experience of playing at this level and will give us some real versatility.

‘He can play in numerous positions and when you are operating with a small squad, it’s paramount that you have players who can fill different positions.

‘He would probably say his best position is right-back but he can play in midfield as well.

‘That will be very useful because he’s a quality player.’

Gosport have, however, missed out on ex-Woking centre-back Adam Doyle who turned down an offer. But they are hot on the trail of another centre-back from Blue Square Bet South.

Pike said: ‘It’s disappointing we’ve missed out on Adam but we have moved on to other targets. He lives and works in London and decided there was too much travelling.

‘But I’ve had conversations with a few other players already and I’m hopeful things will move on next week.’