Stourbridge manager Gary Hackett has snapped up four players as he gets on with life without Evo-Stik Northern Premier League Premier Division Player of the Year Karl Hawley.
Hackett signed the quartet for the upcoming 2016-17 Evo-Stik NPL Premier Division season after Hawley left the Glassboys last week to become the first-team coach at League Two Mansfield Town.
As well being named by the league’s top flight managers as their star player last term and landing the division’s golden boot for his 27 league goals, and 31 goals in all competitions, the 34-year-old did the double at the 2016 NPL Player of the Year Awards when he also collected the NPL Facebook Group’s Fans’ Player of the Year accolade.
To help replace the former Preston, Scunthorpe, Torquay, Carlisle, Notts County and Alfreton striker, three of Hackett’s signings have arrived from Black Country rivals Rushall Olympic – central defender Jack Duggan, midfielder Jake Heath and striker Luke Benbow.
He is back after spending three seasons with the Glassboys before moving across the Midlands to Dales Lane twelve months ago while attacking wide man Aaron Daniels completes the quartet after he made the switch from rivals Halesowen Town on Monday.
Hackett paid tribute to former Preston, Scunthorpe, Torquay, Carlisle and Alfreton striker Hawley on his departure from the War Memorial Ground.
He said: “Karl goes with our best wishes after a really good season for us. It was a move that was great for both parties. He came to us from Alfreton and was a little disillusioned at the time.
“We convinced him to come here and promised him he’d enjoy his football. I think we kept those promises and he rewarded us with a lot of goals.”
He added: “But we have to move on and will be bringing in replacements. We are a team that plays attacking football and creates a lot of chances, which is very appealing for strikers.”