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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