Bradbury: Make most of Hawks faith

Dan Strugnell has signed a two-year deal with the Hawks Picture: Dave Haines
Dan Strugnell has signed a two-year deal with the Hawks Picture: Dave Haines
Brett Poate

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Lee Bradbury has challenged his Hawks new boys to make the most of their Westleigh Park opportunity.

Bradbury made his first moves into the summer transfer market this week by snapping up former loanee Dan Strugnell and Farnborough Town attacking midfielder Nic Ciardini.

Strugnell decided to make his loan move to the Hawks permanent after turning down a new short-term contract at newly-promoted Championship outfit AFC Bournemouth.

Meanwhile, Ciardini also arrives on a free transfer after his time at Farnborough came to an end.

Bradbury has earmarked both as key players in the Hawks’ pursuit of Blue Square Bet South promotion next season.

But he also believes both players can benefit, too, if they produce the goods on a consistent basis at this level.

‘Players have seen that playing their football here can further their own careers,’ said Bradbury.

‘Dan Strugnell was excellent for us last season after coming into the heart of the defence and forming a solid partnership with Ed Harris.

‘They were a key factor in helping us turn the season around.

‘He has seen Dan Butler and Alex Grant who also came to us on loan last season (from Pompey) progress to higher things.

‘Dan is in the Pompey side and Alex has just been given a two-year deal at Stoke City.

‘Players like Dan see that and look upon it as a step down in order to go forward.

‘He is certainly one who I believe can go on and play in the Football League.’

One of the reasons why the Hawks failed to mount a serious promotion challenge last season was a lack of goals from the midfield area.

However, Bradbury thinks that will change next term with the help of Ciardini, who scored 12 goals for Farnborough last season.

‘Needing to score more goals from midfield is an area I have been looking at for a while,’ he said.

‘Ciardini has impressed me every time he has played against us for Farnborough.

‘He is technically very good and can play left-back and behind the front players.

‘The lad has played a lot of games at this level and will be a good acquisition.’

With two new recruits already on board, plus Ryan Woodford staying on for another season, the Hawks have had a busy start to the close season.

However, they have also had to deal with players going in the other direction – with Eddie Hutchinson following Clark Masters out the exit door.

He is currently weighing up options of Tonbridge Angels and Kingstonian.