Hawks manager Shaun Gale believes new striker Lee Peacock has the potential to become a ‘cult hero’ at West Leigh Park after the 34-year-old Scot agreed a one-year deal with the club.
Gale has been in talks with the experienced striker for a few weeks and finally convinced him to sign at the weekend.
It is a huge boost for the Hawks ahead of their Blue Square South campaign, especially with the need to plug the gaps in attack after the departues of Manny Williams, Mustafa Tiryaki and Guiseppe Sole.
Peacock has played for a host of League clubs and, just last season, was playing full-time football for Grimsby in the Blue Square Conference.
‘I think it is a massive coup for the football club,’ said Gale.
‘He has played at a high level with decent clubs and you can’t buy the experience that he has got.
‘We have had senior professionals come in before, like Dean Holdsworth, who have done a great job for us and I am convinced Lee will do well for us.
‘For all the quality that we have had in our squad in the past couple of years, at times we have lacked that little bit of experience.
‘Lee can provide that, along with good footballing skills and a physical presence.
‘He is equally capable of playing in midfield and it is nice to have a player who can offer that option.
‘When we first talked, Lee didn’t know much about our level and was used to earning good money as a full-time player. We weren’t a million miles away from a deal and had three good meetings which enabled us to bridge the gap.
‘Lee understands that we have a wage structure and as a club we are not prepared to break it.
‘I am delighted to get his signature because I said all along I only want players who will be good for the football club.
‘Lee has a fantastic attitude and his enthusiasm, I am sure, will rub off on the other players.
‘He plays with his heart on his sleeve and now it is up to him to show what he is about and I am convinced nobody will be disappointed.’
Peacock, 34, started his career as a trainee at Carlisle United before switching to Mansfield Town where he scored 29 goals in 80 appearances.
His success with the Stags brought him to the notice of Manchester City who paid £500,000 for him – but injuries limited his success at Maine Road.
In August 2000, Peacock made a £600,000 move to Bristol City and that heralded the start of a successful four-year spell at Ashton Gate, during which time he bagged 54 goals in 131 league starts.
Further spells followed at Sheffield Wednesday and Swindon Town before Peacock moved to Grimsby Town on a free transfer in January 2010, agreeing an 18-month deal.
The Mariners released Peacock at the end of last season and he becomes Gale’s fourth signing of the summer, joining other new faces Chris Holland, Craig Braham-Barrett and Mark Nwokeji.