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Archived News from January 2023

OLI HAWKINS SIGNS FOR GILLINGHAM
19th January 2023 10:18


Stags sell Hawkins to Gillingham
mansfieldtown.net, Thur 12 Jan 2023

Mansfield Town have sold Oli Hawkins to Gillingham for an undisclosed fee, the club can announce.

The 30 year-old - whose contract at One Call Stadium was set to expire at the end of this season - played 72 times for the Stags, scoring 12 goals, since signing in June 2021.

Manager Nigel Clough said: “We’re sad to see Oli go, but he has a young family and is going back down south. The transfer is therefore as much for personal reasons as anything else.

“I think he’s been absolutely brilliant for us in the past 18 months. I think the offer Gillingham have made him was too good to turn down.

https://www.mansfieldtown.net/news/2023/january/stags-sell-hawkins-to-gillingham/

“From our perspective, there’s a desire to go younger with the squad. So there’s a range of factors that come into it.

“In an ideal world, we’d have liked him to stay and Hawks said that he would have loved to stay here but with all factors considered, it was very difficult for him not to go.”

He added: “I think it’s good business for the club and we’re hopefully getting a couple of defenders in soon.”

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Clough told iFollow Stags, Fri 13 Jan 2023
"We're sad to see him go.
"The offer to him personally was something he couldn't turn down, a 2.5 year deal, and the personal reasons of him going back down south with his family and everything.
"He goes with our very best wishes.
"Gillingham and Colchester are the two clubs that have changed the landscape of the January transfer window in League Two. They are offering very very good money for League Two and it is very difficult when they put that in front of a player.
"We're good payers here, and the owners back the club incredibly well, but this is gone on a different level.
"Oli was happy here, until this came out of the blue. He was quite happy staying and we were going to talk about a new deal. But the levels that Gillingham are paying, we wouldn't be in that bracket."
"We were bringing in Alfie Kilgour anyway, to add, because we knew we needed a defender. But with Oli going, we've brought two defenders in (Kilgour and Callum Johnson)."
"There are very few centre halves on the market at the moment.
"We've got a lot of good experienced players. We have got enough experience within the squad, so the aim is that the players that we are bringing in now, probably one or two more in this window, will be a bit younger."

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Nigel Clough told iFollow Stags, 14 Jan 2023:
“We had an offer for Oli [Hawkins] and George [from Gillingham], which the club felt was a good offer bearing in mind that they both had five months left on their contracts.”
“Oli is 31 in April [and] they offered him a fantastic package for two and a half years.

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Gillingham joint deal for Mansfield Town stars too good to turn down
chad.co.uk, By John Lomas, Tues 17 Jan 2023

Mansfield Town boss Nigel Clough said he could not stand in the way of the huge offers that big-spending strugglers Gillingham made to buy his key players George Lapslie and Oli Hawkins this week.

The Gills are throwing money at an EFL survival bid and, even though the pair were in contract until the summer, Stags let them go for a combined deal that could net over £100,000 and then quickly moved to bring in three quality players.

“We made George Lapslie a couple of what we thought were very good contract offers that his representative turned down,” said Clough.

“Then we received this joint offer from Gillingham for Oli Hawkins and George Lapslie which I believe will rise to six figures if Gillingham stay in the league.

https://www.chad.co.uk/sport/football/gillingham-joint-deal-for-mansfield-town-stars-too-good-to-turn-down-3990347

“They both had four or five months left on their contract and I don't think either of them really wanted to leave. But we have to look at it all ways round.

“From the lads' points of view, the financial packages that were put on the table were significantly more than we could get to - and we think we are good payers.

“Oli is coming up to 31 and he has got an unbelievable deal for two and a half years. So for the security of himself and his family it was too good to turn down.

“We have to recognise and respect that. We couldn't offer him a two and a half year deal on that, despite us being one of the best payers in the league.”

He added: “Money does talk and Colchester and Gillingham have changed the landscape of the January transfer window to a large degree with the sort of deals they are offering.

“They're paying big fees and also matching that with big wages in an effort to avoid going out of the league. It is so tight down there as it is at the top.

“Owners of clubs are no daft and they will look at the two clubs who went down last season and Scunthorpe are now bottom of the National League and Oldham are down there as well.

“It's not just about dropping out the league. It is what are you chances of getting back in?

“You look at Wrexham and talk about changing landscapes with pay. Notts and Chesterfield are paying good money - more than many League Two clubs. So it's very difficult when you drop out of the league and they're doing all they can to stay in it.”

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twitter
oliver jack hawkins @oliverhawkins08
Just want to thank @mansfieldtownfc for giving me some of the best times of my career playing football for the last year and a half. To the players staff fans thank you for everything such a special club will miss you all greatly. All the best for the future #stags

Martin Shaw @shawma1
Thanks for the memories Oli and good luck for the future.
Lots of good memories in just 18 months actually. This is probably my favourite
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJeNu7jGpbM

David Sharpe @DavidSharpe91
Active couple of days! All the best to Hawks with his move and great to have Alfie Kilgour and @callumjohnson96 with us! 17 days of the window left...#MTFC

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Gills clinch signing of Oli Hawkins
gillinghamfootballclub.com, Thur 12 Jan 2023

Neil Harris adds a striker to his squad with the capture of Oli Hawkins from Mansfield Town.

Striker arrives at ME7.

Gillingham have clinched the signing of striker Oli Hawkins from Mansfield Town for an undisclosed fee.

The 30-year-old centre forward is the club's second signing of the week with midfielder Timothee Dieng having already arrived from Exeter City.

Hawkins, formerly of Portsmouth and Ipswich, has signed in time to be eligible for selection ahead of Saturday's visit of Hartlepool in Sky Bet League 2.

So far this season the striker has netted five times in 26 appearances.

https://www.gillinghamfootballclub.com/news/2023/january/oli-hawkins-signs-for-gills/

He began his career at North Greenford United prior to joining Hillingdon Borough, and then Northwood. Following a spell at Hemel Hempstead Town, Oli joined Dagenham & Redbridge in January of 2016 on a two-and-a-half year deal for an undisclosed fee. After netting 19 times in 67 appearances, Portsmouth snapped up the forward on a three-year deal in the summer of 2017.

He played 97 times for Pompey during the period, scoring 18 times before agreeing to join Ipswich in 2020. He was at Portman Road for a year before deciding to sign for Mansfield on a two-year deal in the summer of 2021.

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Gillingham sign Oli Hawkins from League 2 rivals Mansfield Town for undisclosed fee
kentonline.co.uk, 12 January 2023

Gillingham's January spending spree has continued with a third new signing in the transfer window - and a real coup according to the manager.

The Gills have paid an undisclosed fee to secure the services of Oli Hawkins from League 2 rivals Mansfield Town.

https://www.kentonline.co.uk/medway/sport/gills-splash-the-cash-again-280315/

Hawkins' arrival was announced on Thursday - the third player the club have purchased in the January window.

Commenting on the latest addition, boss Neil Harris said: "I feel we have been a little short in the attacking areas. Oli comes in predominantly as a centre forward for us, but also the ability to play centre-half, and there aren’t many players who have been able to do that over the years.

"I have known Oli for a long time now, having seen him at Hemel Hempstead, Dagenham, Portsmouth, Ipswich and Mansfield close up this year when I thought he was the best player on the pitch against us.

"He is the best in both boxes, attacking set-plays, attacking crosses, defending set-plays, he is the best in both boxes in the division and it is a big coup for us to be able to add him to the group, to be able to help us compete.

"Being able to attract a player of his experience, pedigree and knowledge, who has been very successful in the division, and the league above, is a big thing for us, taking players who have done well, again just complements what we are trying to do, and again a big thanks to (owners) Brad and Shannon (Galinson) for the support."

He could make his debut in this Saturday's huge league game at home to Hartlepool.

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Latest | January 2023