Gutted Oli Hawkins admits surprise at Portsmouth departure
Oli Hawkins has revealed his surprise at being shown the Pompey exit.
But the striker believes he still has plenty to offer League One as he seeks new challenges.
The 28-year-old was last week informed by Kenny Jackett he would not be offered a fresh Blues deal.
It signalled the end of three seasons at Fratton Park, during which he scored 18 goals in 96 appearances and was the Wembley hero in the Checkatrade Trophy.
Hawkins, who had settled into Horndean with his young family, was keen to remain on the south coast, despite a season disrupted by injury.
However, last Thursday he was rendered surplus to requirements, along with Brett Pitman, Adam May, Matt Casey and Luke McGee.
Hawkins told The News: ‘Honestly, I thought I may have got offered something else,
‘I feel I deserved at least to have one more year, but it’s football. Obviously with what has happened with coronavirus, I can see why clubs might want to get rid of people and start afresh.
‘I didn’t expect it, but I have to accept it.
‘I would be lying if I said I wasn’t thinking about moving on anyway to another club or a new start.
‘However, I still wanted that chance to maybe have another year at Pompey and give it another go knowing that I still might need to move on.
‘Now the decision has come, it is more realistic now and I have to plan for my future, I suppose.
‘It was a three-minute call from the manager, thanking me for being there and how he will always have a good reference for me.
‘I actually felt I deserved a face-to-face meeting after three years, but with football you can’t expect a lot of things to happen. You have to get on with it sometimes.
‘I know there’s interest and I’d like to think I might have a choice from a few and then go from there. I cannot say much now, hopefully I can sort something out.’
Hawkins was recruited by Jackett in August 2017 for an undisclosed fee from non-league Dagenham & Redbridge.
However, on the back of his best Pompey season in 2018-19, he made just 12 appearances this term, failing to score.
He added: ‘I back myself and think I’m good enough to find a team in the top 10 for League One.
‘With the current situation financially, perhaps a Championship team might want to gamble on a big striker. I don’t know. I’m waiting on my future.
‘I don’t want to drop down to League Two. However, you must look at whatever options are around and assess what’s best financially and the location.
‘I still feel I have a few years at League One level, maybe in a team which plays more to my strengths.’
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