Striker Joe Iaciofano ‘buzzing’ for new National League South challenge after leaving Hawks

Joe Iaciofano is the second big name departure from Hawks in what will be a summer of squad rebuilding for boss Paul Doswell.

Sunday, 6th June 2021, 2:39 pm
Joe Iaciofano celebrates after scoring one of his two goals on his National League South debut for Hawks against Maidstone last October. Picture by Dave Haines.

The 22-year-old striker was heralded as a major coup when he arrived at Westleigh Park last August.

Iaciofano had finished the 2019/20 season with 17 National League South goals for lowly St Albans - sharing the Golden Boot with Hawks’ Jonah Ayunga - in his first season at the club after being released by Northampton Town..

Due to his age, Hawks had to pay a fee for Iaciofano at a tribunal - but he has now left for nothing following the expiry of his contract.

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His Hawks career began well, with a double strike on his NLS debut against Maidstone and two more goals on his third start against two divisions lower Chatham in the FA Cup.

But he was to score only once more for the club, in an FA Trophy tie at Bracknell in December, and was mainly consigned to the bench for the last few months of the 2020/21 season before it was abandoned in mid-February.

Iaciofano has now joined league rivals Oxford City after falling even lower down the Hawks pecking order following the arrival of former Oxford City striker James Roberts and Concord’s Alex Wall.

Roberts was Oxford’s top league scorer with 11 goals in 2020/21, while Wall netted seven times for Rangers. With Tommy Wright netting eight times in 14 NLS starts, Hawks possess three of the 11 players who scored seven or more goals in the pandemic-shattered campaign.

Iaciofano could well be paired up front at Oxford City with Harvey Bradbury, son of ex-Hawks boss Lee, who ended 2020/21 with eight league goals.

‘I’m buzzing to be here,’ Iaciofano said on his City arrival. ‘I want to be at an ambitious club like Oxford City and hopefully I’ll progress here.

‘The aim is to get promoted, do as well as possible in the league and hopefully go on a few cup runs.’

City have only been a sixth tier club since 2015, with a highest-placed NLS finish of 12th in 2018/19. They were fourth, however, when last season was null and voided - seven points adrift of Dorking with a game in hand.

Iaciofano follows midfielder Josh Taylor, who recently moved to Dorking, out of Westleigh Park.

More departures are expected soon, via the retained list, with Doswell having already signed Joe Oastler, Joe Newton, Paul Rooney and Josh Passley in addition to Roberts and Wall.

More signings are expected to be unveiled soon ahead of what will be Doswell’s third season in charge.