Well-travelled former Fulham, Shrewsbury, Bristol Rovers and Grimsby striker leaves Chesterfield on loan to reunite with very familiar face at Hawks

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Forward Stefan Payne has reunited with former boss Paul Doswell at National League South Hawks.

Payne, 30, will initially join on loan until the end of the season from National League Chesterfield before signing a further one-year deal at Westleigh Park when his Spireites contract ends in the summer.

Hawks' second strike arrival in the space of two days, following on from Manny Duku signing yesterday, is a player Doswell knows very well.

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During his time as Sutton boss, Doswell signed Payne in the summer of 2009 after catching his eye playing for Croydon's youth team against the U's young guns.

Loan arrival Stefan Payne, left, with Hawks boss Paul Doswell Picture: Dave HainesLoan arrival Stefan Payne, left, with Hawks boss Paul Doswell Picture: Dave Haines
Loan arrival Stefan Payne, left, with Hawks boss Paul Doswell Picture: Dave Haines

From there, the former Shrewbury, Bristol Rovers and Tranmere striker Payne was picked up by then-Premier League Fulham just a matter of weeks after moving to Sutton, but failed to make a single appearance for the Cottagers and switched to Gillingham in the Football League.

In fact, this will represent the third time Payne has worked under Doswell having rejoined Sutton for a brief loan spell in 2012.

And after falling down the striking pecking order at Chesterfield, Payne says the chance to join Doswell's Hawks 'project' was too good an opportunity to turn down.

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‘Obviously I’ve known the gaffer for a long time so I’ve kind of looked out for Havant,’ said loan arrival Payne.

‘When I was on the phone to him speaking to him he told me about the project, where he wanted to go with the club, and just sold it to me, really.

‘We’re back together so hopefully we can work together and take the club where it wants to go and needs to go.

‘Coming here, the gaffer’s told me about the project, I’d like to settle down, get a load of games, a load of goals and a few promotions if possible.

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‘This year hasn’t gone quite as well as I wanted it go to so that’s why I’ve got the fire in my belly to kick on and get scoring goals again.’

Payne arrives at Westleigh Park with just two goals in 38 appearances over the past two seasons in spells with Grimsby and Chesterfield.

But Doswell believes he's got a striker ready to make his mark again and play a key part in 11th-placed Hawks closing the five-point gap to the National League South play-off places in the weeks ahead.

‘You don’t get Stefan Payne if he’s scored 20 goals for Chesterfield in February,’ admitted the Hawks boss.

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‘You get Stefan Payne from Chesterfield when they’ve got six strikers and he wants to play football.

‘It was him that made the move, it was him that knocked the door, I know Stefan very, very, very and I know what he’ll bring to the football club. The thing with Stefan is that he wants to come here and that’s always important.’

Both Payne and Duku are in contention to make their debuts in tomorrow's National League South meeting with St Albans at Westleigh Park.

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