Third time lucky for Hawks boss Paul Doswell as he lands former Luton, Bristol Rovers and Maidenhead United striker Alex Wall to end a pursuit which started nearly a decade ago
Paul Doswell spoke of his delight after finally landing striker Alex Wall - nearly a decade on from his first attempt to sign him.
The towering 6ft 3in former Luton, Bristol Rovers and Maidenhead forward has committed to a two-year Hawks deal following his Concord Rangers departure.
For boss Doswell, it brings to an end a desire to land a striker he first attempted sign in 2013.
Doswell revealed Sutton United submitted a five-figure offer to bring the then-Maidenhead United centre-forward to the U's eight years ago during his spell as manager – but he instead decided to join John Still’s Luton.
Wall was also chased by the Hawks boss two years later to join him at Sutton before a knee injury ruled him out for more than a year.
But, now, Doswell has managed to get his man by bringing the 30-year-old to Westleigh Park.
The Hawks boss recalled: ‘It’s been a long chase.
‘I think he was 21 or 22 when I first made an offer for him - I was Sutton manager then - we made a five-figure offer because I felt he was going to go.
‘But John Still, who always picks up non-league gems, was at Luton at the time and John managed to get him.
‘He had two excellent years at Luton and he did really, really well. We stayed in touch with Alex, again, I very nearly signed him two years later at Sutton again.
‘Unfortunately, that’s when Alex had the issue with his knee and was out for 18 months.
‘I’ve kept in touch with him since and he’s done extremely well at Concord.
‘He’s now in a position where he wants to do the hybrid full-time, he wants to give it a real good go, I don’t think he wants to look back at his career with any regrets.
‘With my relationship with him and him knowing Bairdy (Ian Baird; assistant manager) so well - it was a bit of a no-brainer.
‘I’d said we’d make some statement signings and this, along with James Roberts, is another statement signing.’
Wall becomes Doswell's third summer signing with the club also confirming the arrivals of Oxford City pair James Roberts and Joe Oastler.
The Hawks boss, who is still looking to add another forward, believes towering Wall will be the perfect foil for fellow attackers Tommy Wright and new addition Roberts.
And Doswell feels Wall, who netted seven goals in 11 appearances in Concord's shortened 2020-21 season because of the coronavirus pandemic, is of a similar mould to former striker Jonah Ayunga.
He added: ‘I think he’s had two really, really good seasons. He comes in here as a 30-year-old who knows his game inside out, he knows what he needs to do to be fit for a Saturday and I’m really, really excited to get him.
‘I think Alex is quick, his stats last year showed he’d be in the top two quickest players in the club from last year’s team, you certainly need the added height up front - we now that - we had it with Danny Kedwell in year one.
‘Alex is a mobile version (of Kedwell) I think the Jonah Ayunga analogy isn’t a bad one, it’s just the difference in age.’