Done deal! Hawkins completes move from Hemel Town to League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge
Hemel Hempstead Town striker Oliver Hawkins has completed his move to League Two side Dagenham & Redbridge.
The Tudors accepted an undisclosed bid from the Daggers earlier this week, with Hawkins agreeing personal terms passing his medical yesterday.
New Daggers manager John Still has been a long-time admirer of the 23-year-old centre-forward, having tracked his progress during his time as Luton Town boss.
Hawkins has eight National League South goals to his name so far this season, with the tall striker having arguably been Hemel’s stand-out player during the first half of the campaign.
Speaking about the move, Hemel manager Dean Brennan said: “We’ve accepted a bid and it’s a fantastic opportunity for the player; he’s a player we have believed in for a long, long time and a player we have put a lot of faith in. He’s done fantastically well for us.
“He needed to believe in himself a little bit more and he started to do that as he got more game time, and I think the decision we made two years ago to make him our main centre-forward has proved correct.
“This is a fantastic opportunity for a 23-year-old centre-forward who basically we pulled off the park.
“We are delighted with how we developed him and now it’s his time to go on and become a league footballer.”
In terms of what it means to the club, Brennan continued: “It’s fantastic for the football club – before I got here the football club had never sold a player, and now this is the 15th player we have sold. That’s what we said we would do when we got here.
“I don’t know how much we got for him because I didn’t have a lot to do with it, but the offer wouldn’t have been accepted if it wasn’t a good deal for the club.
“It’s a great opportunity for the lad - he’s done the best by us and we’ve done the best by him so we are delighted for him. I think he will do really, really well at that level.”
Hawkins joined Hemel from Northwood in 2013 after impressing manager Dean Brennan during a pre-season trial.
He was voted the Northwood Supporters’ Player of the Year for 2011/12 and Manager’s Player of the Year for 2012/13, during which time he was golden boot winner for both seasons, scoring 19 goals in each campaign.
Speaking to the official Dagenham & Redbridge FC website, manager Still said: “Ollie is a player we have watched for some time. Everyone who saw him was impressed. I decided I would try and sign him in this transfer window and the fact that I changed clubs is Dagenham and Redbridge’s gain.
“He is a proper centre forward and he fits my belief of signing young hungry ambitious players.”
Hawkins will be available for Still’s first match back at The Chigwell Construction Stadium tomorrow.