SHAUN GALE insists the Hawks recruitment policy remains the same ahead of their first-ever season in the National League.
After being relegated from National League South two seasons ago the club put an emphasis on recruiting more locally-based players.
The move paid dividends with two successive promotions.
Though the management team will need to cast their net a little wider for next season there won’t be a big change and they know they need signings who can fit in well with the squad.
Gale reckons the basic principles will remain the same.
He said: ‘We are determined that any players we bring in are right for the club.
‘It is important we recruit characters who will conduct themselves in the right way both on and off the pitch.
‘They must be prepared to show their commitment to the football club.
‘This policy has worked well for us in the past couple of seasons.
‘What we won’t do is sign players for the sake of it.
‘In the past we have had our fingers burned with one or two individuals and will do our best to avoid that happening again.
‘That happens everywhere, though, even in clubs at the highest level.
‘We have a recruitment programme that we believe works for us.
‘Just because we are moving up to the National league doesn’t mean we are going to abandon it.’
So far this summer the Hawks have been linked with former Pompey captain Paul Robinson and ex-Blues striker Nicke Kabamba.
The club have refused to comment on either and to date there have been no new arrivals at Westleigh Park.
That is likely to change in the next couple of weeks.
Gale accepts the Hawks are looking to bring in at least two new signings.
One is likely to be a striker with leading goalscorer Jason Prior looking increasingly unlikely to return.
‘Though we haven’t signed anyone yet there has been plenty of work going on behind the scenes,’ added Gale.
‘We have a number of targets and are talking to players and their agents.
‘Now we have gone up to one level below the Football League we are having to deal with some big hitters.
‘There are some clubs out there paying seriously big money.
‘We will stick to our principles and won’t pay out what we can’t afford.
‘It is a slow process at the moment but we are not panicking.
‘Our squad have players have done us proud for the past two seasons and we are happy with it. It is a case of adding a couple. There is a blueprint and we intend sticking to it.
‘We have our targets and some we will get and some we won’t.
‘Hopefully in the next couple of weeks we can get a few deals over the line.’