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Hawkins: I Just Want to Get Out There and Play Football
Tuesday, 22nd Jun 2021 09:42

Striker Oli Hawkins says he left the Blues to join League Two Mansfield to get game time, knowing his opportunities at Portman Road would have been limited as manager Paul Cook makes big changes to his squad over the summer.

The 29-year-old joined the Stags for an undisclosed fee yesterday, signing a two-year deal, despite having a further season remaining on his Town terms.

In his year with the Blues Hawkins made 10 starts and 13 sub appearances, scoring once.

“I had a two-year deal at Ipswich, but a new manager has come in and just said he is looking elsewhere and wanted to rebuild a new team,” he told the Mansfield Chad.

“So it was a decision of staying there and not really playing as much or look elsewhere, go out, enjoy it again and get game time.

“I just realised that at the age I am I just want to get out there and play football, prove to people that I'm a good player and especially go to a team that are looking to get promoted.

“I weighed my options up here and looked at the manager and the team itself and thought where I could get the best out of myself with formations and style of play and the club's ambitions. I just thought it sounds like a good move and a good plan and hopefully it's successful.”

He says he has good memories of playing at Mansfield: “I am from the non-league and have played mostly every league right up to League One and just really battled my way up.

“I got my chance at Dagenham & Redbridge at League Two level where I scored my first league goal here at Mansfield ironically.

“Then they got relegated and I was back in the Conference. I worked hard and got my break to Portsmouth where I had three seasons which led me to Ipswich, again looking to go to a promotion-winning team.

“Unfortunately that hasn't gone the way I have gone and now I am looking to come here and have success.”

Hawkins joined Town last summer after leaving Portsmouth after a three-year spell. Reflecting on his time with Pompey, he added: “It was a brilliant time in my career on the south coast. They are a huge club with a nice big fan base. Unfortunately we didn't get promoted though came close a few times. My aim is to play in the Championship and get as high as I can.

“My main reason for choosing Mansfield is that it's a team that wants to get back up there and I feel like they have huge potential to get promoted to League One and then look to go again in League One.”

Photo: Matchday Images

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Pencilpete added 09:45 - Jun 22
I wish him well but how the hell we got any kind of fee for him should be subject to a government enquiry!!!

Cadiar added 09:53 - Jun 22
Wonder what the fee was? Did we pay Mansfield? It would have been cheaper than paying off his contract. Wish him well but he really wasn't good enough.

Churchman added 09:57 - Jun 22
‘I just want to get out there and play football’ - it’s nice to see him learning a new skill.

Suffolkboy added 10:01 - Jun 22
Come on chaps ! The time for cynicism is well past ; here’s a chap who has undoubtedly applied himself assiduously to learning his trade and now clearly wants to actually play !
What’s the need to criticise — his realistic assessment of things at ITFC is clear headed and sensible ; I wish him every bit of good fortune in reawakening his football career and ambitions !

HighgateBlue added 10:09 - Jun 22
He wants to get out there and play, rather than sitting on the bench and picking up easy money - that's to be applauded, surely? Especially given the importance of wages in the context of the 60% of turnover cap.

bluejacko added 10:16 - Jun 22
Good luck to him!

Karlosfandangal added 10:28 - Jun 22
He might get more game time at Town this season as we soon won’t have any players left.

Need some signings soon so they can gel together for next season

OwainG1992 added 10:42 - Jun 22
Great words from him.
Players wanting to play. Love to see it.
Just to add I hate how nasty our fan base has become on here and on twitter.
It's pathetic and arrogant.

wkj added 11:02 - Jun 22
Is a bit extreme seeing some of the negativity towards the lad. He came in, it didn't work out - it is as simple as that. Totally not worth the abuse - I hope he gets to enjoy his footie at Mansfield.

Cloddyseedbed added 11:13 - Jun 22
Another player I felt sorry for. Never got a chance to play in a team set up to play to his strengths. I wish him luck in a team that plays to his strengths. Hawkins is good in the air, wins balls and sets up others. If no quality balls are played into him and they weren't, what the hell is he or any striker supposed to do. If he did get a game he was left isolated as were any strikers played up top in our team last season. It was a team coached and managed appallingly. Hopefully now new beginnings and players who weren't good enough or not up for the fight to claim a 1st team place have either gone or will go before the new season starts.

Ipswichbusiness added 11:22 - Jun 22
He recognised that the move to us hadn’t worked well.

He realised that he wasn’t wanted by the new regime.

Faced with a choice between earning easy money warming the bench or going elsewhere and playing football, he chose the latter.

I can’t fault him on that.

BeattiesBackPocket added 11:44 - Jun 22
Good luck to the guy

stiffy501 added 13:00 - Jun 22
Good luck, going to a club with a good manager !!

Oldboy added 13:42 - Jun 22
Thought he was ok as an emergency, but don't think we saw the best of him. Good luck to him and we move on and try to find better.

dougalmcguire added 14:03 - Jun 22
Good luck to Oli. Didn't really work out here and I think he was only really intended as an impact sub and someone to loft the ball to when chasing the game.

I agree with others on here that there's been a lot of unnecessary nastiness when players have left and the 'found their level' comments are surprisingly lacking in humility considering where the club's current level is...There is still a hell of a lot of work to do to improve on the last couple of seasons.....

Monkey_Blue added 14:55 - Jun 22
All 3 of Lamberts permanent signings are gone. All three were free transfers and other than Cornell couldn’t have been seen as coming off the back of a great season. I thought Hawkins was a good option given he was cheap, but his lack of opportunity was down to us not playing long ball as a rule and his injury problems, not some kind of injustice. As a Notts lad I wish him and Mansfield a great season.

EricsGate added 14:57 - Jun 22
See ya 👋

el_granjero added 15:39 - Jun 22
"My aim is to play in the Championship and get as high as I can"

Sounds a lot like Adam Tanner.

jas0999 added 17:19 - Jun 22
Good luck to the lad.

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