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Neal: it’s a marquee signing for us

Manager's reaction after James Hanson signs on the dotted line for Wimbledon

26 June 2018

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Neal Ardley believes that AFC Wimbledon have pulled off a transfer coup with the signing of towering forward James Hanson.

The arrival of 6 ft 4 inch target man James will add an option to the Wimbledon forward line that the manager knows has been missing since the departure of Tom Elliott in 2017.

"We've got some really good attacking players with good movement and we're looking to sign some young, hungry, energetic players, but you do need know-how in that position," said Neal, in an interview for our iFollow channel. "For me, it is a big marquee signing for us.

"We started working on this probably a week after the season finished. It was a long process, but credit must go to James. We met with James a couple of weeks ago and he had done his homework, he was ready to do it all. Sheffield United have been fantastic, Chris Wilder always is, and they were fantastic in the way they dealt with it. It's a big signing for us and it's one that has gone a lot smoother than a lot of them, so we're delighted.  

"James is 30, coming up to 31 in November. He is a target man and I think that in the next two or three years he will be in his prime. We will make sure we do our work to get him fit and get him where he needs to be, but I've spoken to players and managers who have worked with him and he is at the front in the running. He is a fit boy, but most importantly for us he brings that aerial ability to get on the end of crosses. Sometimes target men score 10/15 goals, but like Tom Elliott when he was with us, they play a part in another 20 or 30 goals because they cause bedlam."

See the link above for Rob Cornell's full interview with James on iFollow. Clips of the interviews with Neal and James are below.



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