"This whole transfer window scenario is killing clubs at our level," bemoans Fleet boss

Thursday 23rd March 2006
Gravesend & Northfleet boss Liam Daish, who guided the Nationwide Conference club to the Kent Senior Cup final earlier in the week, has hit-out at the transfer window after signing Peter Hawkins today, writes Stephen McCartney.

The 28-year-old defender has made over 180 appearances in the Football League, playing for MK Dons and Rushden & Diamonds.

Hawkins came through the Wimbledon youth ranks and signed professional terms in 1996 at the age of 17.

He spent a few months on loan at York City during the 1999-2000 season before breaking into the Wimbledon first team in 2000. He went on to make 130 appearances for the Dons, before and after they moved to Milton Keynes
, scoring just the once.

Injury cost him his place at MK Dons in 2003-04 and he moved to Rushden & Diamonds in time for the new season, making a total of 70 appearances before leaving Nene Park by mutual consent in March 2006, arriving at Stonebridge Road
a week later.

Predominantly a left-back, the six-footer can also play on the right or in the centre if required.

Daish, meanwhile, admitted the transfer window is doing him and his rivals no favours.

”This was an opportunity that we just couldn’t pass up,” he told www.gnfc.co.uk

”Peter has been “paid off” by Rushden, he’s a local lad and was very keen to join us, and he will undoubtedly strengthen our squad.”

He added: “It has been an absolute nightmare trying to bring players to the club and this whole transfer window scenario is killing clubs at our level.

”It is no secret that we have been trying to bring a striker to the club for some time, unfortunately without success, but this is fundamentally down to the restrictions that are placed upon us.”

Daish, whose side travel to Stevenage Borough on Saturday, added: “We are clearly not the only club to suffer this problem.  If you look around the league absolutely no-one is moving at a time when traditionally teams are strengthening for a promotion push or releasing players for the next season.”

The transfer window doesn’t affect the Nationwide Conference North of South or league’s further down the pyramid, and Daish bemoaned: “I dread to think what might happen should transfer windows ever be imposed upon League’s further down the non-league pyramid.”

Earlier today, Ryman League Division One club Ashford Town announced they have added Danny Simmonds and, Stuart Playford to their squad, and have released Shaun Bradshaw, Emmanuel Sackey and Denver Birmingham in a bid to keep clear of the relegation zone.