Hinshelwood relishes fresh start

Paul Hinshelwood was well liked at the Hawks for his wholehearted approached. Picture: Dave Haines
Paul Hinshelwood was well liked at the Hawks for his wholehearted approached. Picture: Dave Haines
Gosport have taken a lift from Craig McAllister's leadership. Picture: Keith Woodland

Gosport encouraged ahead of Redditch trip

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Paul Hinshelwood cannot wait to get started at Gosport Borough.

After spending four-and-a-half years with the Hawks at Westleigh Park, the 25-year-old is ready for the new challenge of helping the Privett Park outfit succeed in their first-ever Blue Square Bet South campaign.

He recognises it is a big step up for the Southern League premier division play-off winners.

But he is convinced he is joining a squad that can spring a few surprises.

‘It is a great opportunity for me to get my teeth into something new,’ said Hinshelwood.

‘I need to be playing on a regular basis and feel guilty being paid to sit on the bench.

‘At Havant I was viewed as a bit of a utility player, coming in to fill gaps.

‘I was just glad to play, whether in my preferred position as a full-back or in midfield.

‘The time is right for me to make this move, though.

‘It’s a fresh slate and a chance to do something new.

‘At my age I feel there is still plenty of football left in me.’

Hinshelwood will be sorely missed at Westleigh Park.

A popular figure among team-mates and supporters alike, his wholehearted approach to every game won him lots of fans. It may have been unspectacular at times but Hinshelwood proved efficient and reliable whenever and wherever he was asked to play for the Hawks.

Hinshelwood began his career as a trainee with Brighton & Hove Albion in 2006 before moving to Blue Square Bet Premier Torquay United in June 2001.

He made seven appearances for the Gulls and then left for Bognor, where he became a regular fixture in the first half of the 2008-09 season.

Shaun Gale, who was in charge of the Hawks at the time, then brought him to Westleigh Park in the January of that season to fill the vacant right-back position.

And although he is excited by the new challenge, Hinshelwood admits he leaves the Hawks with a heavy heart.

‘I loved my time with the Hawks and wouldn’t change anything,’ he said.

‘They are a great little club run by a lot of decent people.

‘It is a club where everyone from the chairman to the kitman and supporters are now pulling together.

‘The chairman is dedicated to the club and they always try to do the right thing with the players.

‘They didn’t deserve the recent bad publicity over the Tom Davis affair – that was just down to one man who has left the club.

‘Over the time I’ve been there, the standard has just got better and better and they have attracted more and more quality players.

‘I can’t wait for the fixtures to come out, so I can see when Gosport are going to play them. They should be cracking derbies.

‘I have no hard feelings about the move, though, and look forward to helping Gosport beat them!’