The benefits Crystal Palace friendly will provide for Hawks as they prepare to face Premier League club's 'strong under-23s side'

Hawks manager Paul Doswell explained how a friendly meeting with a youthful Crystal Palace side could potentially provide an avenue to add to his squad in January - should he require it.

By Lewis Mason
Tuesday, 14th December 2021, 11:21 am
Hawks boss Paul Doswell. Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks boss Paul Doswell. Picture: Dave Haines

The National League South Hawks are travelling to Palace's recently opened new multi-million pound academy complex to take on Paddy McCarthy's under-23 side tomorrow.

The friendly fixture has been arranged to give Doswell's squad a final run-out before the Boxing Day league trip to Dorking Wanderers, with the Hawks without a competitive match this weekend.

And Doswell says the Palace meeting will provide an additional benefit, with the south Londoners looking to put out a 'strong under-23s side' of which some they'll attempt to 'get out on loan in January'.

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So the Hawks boss could get a look at some possible additions he could bolster his squad with next month - if he should need to.

Doswell said: ‘It always helps (building relationships with clubs). The only thing with Premier League clubs is you can only loan from window to window so it’s not always good.

‘We’re basically playing a strong under-23s (Palace) side. The benefit as well is that they’re going to mainly play players that they’re looking to loan out in January as well.

‘On the back of that we could be able to get some relationships going there and if we need to bring one or two in we could potentially do it.

‘The Palace game is specifically set up so we get another 90 minutes of football. It’s not necessarily for young lads, it’s for us to get another game in prior to us having a break, I’m going to give the lads five days off after the Palace game anyway.’

The Palace under-23s friendly will provide the Hawks’ players some valuable minutes ahead of a hectic schedule over the festive period.

They are facing three games in the space of eight days with an away trip to Dorking (Boxing Day) prior to home games against Hemel Hempstead (Dec 28) and the return league fixture against Dorking (Jan 2).