Football Management & Technology

Hartley Wintney Bring Back Hodges

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Date: Mon 03 Oct 2022

By Steve Whitney

Pitching In Southern League Premier Division South club Hartley Wintney bolstered their squad ahead of meeting unbeaten leaders Truro City on Saturday.

Paul Hodges

Paul Hodges

The Row brought in midfielder Ben Purcell, Fabio Sole and Paul Hodges.

Eighteen-year-old Purcell is a Wales under-19 captain who came up through Championship side Reading’s academy, joining the ranks and featuring regularly for the under-23 side last season during the second year of his scholarship, despite only being 17 at the time.

He signed his first professional contract with the Royals in the summer.

The central midfielder has agreed an initial six-week loan period with the Row.

Joining on dual registration with Vanarama National League South side Slough Town is 21-year-old Fabio Sole.

The midfielder signed for the Rebels in July.

He was previously with League One side Oxford United but spent most of the 2021/22 season out injured.

He began his career with Reading before joining Oxford in September 2019.

He made his senior debut in October 2019 at home to Portsmouth in the EFL Trophy and converted the U’s first penalty of the resulting shoot-out after a 2-2 draw.

In February 2020, he joined Southern Premier Division Central side AFC Rushden & Diamonds on a month’s `work experience`, playing just one game, and the following season had a spell on loan at then-Southern Premier Division South outfit Farnborough, playing 3 times.

Outside of playing, Sole was inspired to create a support network helping teenagers released by football clubs, and he co-founded `Footballers Minds`, an organisation which aims to aid the mental health of all those involved in the sport.

Re-joining the Row on loan from Slough’s league rivals Farnborough is the experienced Paul Hodges.

The 29-year-old helped Boro win promotion from the Southern Premier Division South via the play-offs last season and then spent the first month of the current campaign with Hayes & Yeading United.

An attacking player who can play out wide or in an advanced midfield role just behind the striker, he joined National League side Woking after a successful trial period in the summer of 2018.

Local to the Woking area, he is a self-confessed supporter of the club and was even a ball boy in his youth, but after spending time with Reading as a teenager he put his football career to one side to concentrate on becoming a teacher.

Close to 10 years on he returned to his boyhood club following spells with Abbey Rangers and Hartley Wintney, for whom he scored 30 goals in all competitions.

He was released by Woking in February 2020 and was quickly snapped up by National League South side Slough Town, although he returned to the Cards in March 2021.

He moved to Farnborough in August 2021.

Hartley Wintney Web Site

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