How former Sutton United and The New Saints defender sees Hawks switch as perfect platform to help fulfill professional return aspiration

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Nembhard, 24, revealed how Hawks’ hybrid training system, which sees the squad train three mornings a week throughout the season, was a major factor in him moving to the south coast.

For a player who spent nearly three years with Welsh Premier League side The New Saints after signing a professional deal aged 19 and a period with Sutton United at the back end of their National League 2019-20 title-winning campaign, full-time football remains his ultimate goal.

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Joash Nembhard has joined Hawks after leaving National League South rivals Hemel Hempstead Picture: Dave Haines

And Nembhard says after Doswell spoke to him about the progression he believes he can make in the years ahead, the defender was set on a move to the Hawks.

‘Everything was relatively quick (deal getting down). I knew the attraction of being closer back to full-time football in terms of the hybrid (three days a week training) was a massive factor why I wanted to come and join Havant,’ Nembhard told The News.

‘When I spoke to the gaffer and his expectations of where he sees me progressing in my career, it was a huge factor in why I wanted to move here.

‘It’s definitely what I want to do (get back to full-time football). Especially for where I’ve come from, I’ve fluctuated in and out of full-time football, being given the opportunity – especially to work under him (Paul Doswell) – with the staff and experienced players around, it gives me a great opportunity, with the age I am, to potentially kick-on again as well as doing as well I can here.’

Nembhard was part of The New Saints side who won the Welsh Premier title in his first season at the club in 2018-19.

During his time with the Saints he also played in both Champions League and Europa League qualifying matches, turning out against the likes of Danish clubs FC Copenhagen and FC Midtjylland along with Bulgarian big-hitters PFC Ludogorets.

Nembhard returned to England at the back end of the 2020-21 campaign, featuring four times for Sutton as Matt Gray’s men achieved promotion to the Football League for the first time.

And Hawks’ third signing of the summer, following the arrivals of strike pair Jason Prior and Daniel Wright, made supporters aware of his winning desire as the club bid to return to the National League next season.

Nembhard added: ‘I think it was the biggest thing for me (time at Hemel), definitely, to make the next step in my career.

‘Everywhere I’ve been everybody has said that I’m a good footballer, but I’ve never had the consistency to back it up.

‘I think last season gave me that where I played a lot of games in a row and that’s where the interest came from.

‘For anyone who wants to know, I’m a massive winner. My expectation is wanting to push on, wanting to win things and being at least near the top is massive for me.

‘It was a huge factor why I wanted to make my decision (to join Hawks) so hastily. I knew he (Dos) had the same aspirations as me, it’s definitely a factor.’



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