Lee Bradbury: Skipper Rory Williams will be key in Havant & Waterlooville's bid to return to National League
Lee Bradbury recognised the value of Rory Williams by ensuring he’ll remain at the Hawks next season.
The attacking full-back has signed a new one-year deal at Westleigh Park after impressing during his side’s relegation from the National League.
The 29-year-old has been one of the Hawks’ most consistent performers since arriving from Gosport Borough three seasons ago.
He played a major part in securing successive promotions and was made captain after Brian Stock retired in January.
With the Hawks targeting an immediate return to the National League next term, Bradbury believes Williams will play a key role.
The boss said: ‘Rory has been excellent for us and I had no hesitation in making him captain.
‘He is very professional in his approach to everything.
‘Always a hard worker, Rory has great energy and possesses a fantastic left foot.
‘As a character he plays an important part in the dressing room and out on the pitch.
‘He has a winning mentality and that is what we will need.
‘Early in his career he started at centre-forward and his natural inclination is still to go forward.
‘Add to that his aggressive defending and ability in the air he is a big player for us.
‘He leads by example and I was determined to get him back on board as soon as possible.’
Bradbury admits the Hawks are still coming to terms with relegation after their maiden campaign in the top tier of the non-league pyramid.
The Westleigh Park outfit with ply their trade in National League South next term.
However, the boss insists promotion will firmly be the target.
‘Our aim is to be promoted back up at the end of next season,' added Bradbury.
‘We have had a taste of National League football and it has whetted our appetite.
‘It won't be easy because there will be lots of good teams in National League South.
‘Having players like Rory on board who will drive themselves and others on will help.’
The Hawks face a busy final week to the season.
They travel to Hampshire rivals Aldershot Town tomorrow (3pm).
Although both teams are already relegated, they both want to finish as high as possible.
If, as in the past clubs, above them with financial problems go under, that could earn the Hawks a reprieve.
On Wednesday evening, Bradbury's troops defend their Hampshire Senior Cup crown against Basingstoke Town at Eastleigh's Silverlake Stadium.
They then bring the curtain on their brief National League campaign against Barnet at Westleigh Park on Saturday.