King’s Lynn close on signing of former Dereham winger Ryan Hawkins from St Neots Town

PUBLISHED: 16:10 15 November 2016 | UPDATED: 16:10 15 November 2016

Ryan Hawkins during his time with Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

Ryan Hawkins during his time with Dereham. Picture: Ian Burt

King’s Lynn Town are closing on the signing of former Dereham Town winger Ryan Hawkins.

The Linnets have agreed a fee with Southern Premier Division rivals St Neots Town, as the 21-year-old wants to return to Norfolk.

Hawkins spent time on trial at League Two club Newport County in October but now the University of East Anglia student looks to be heading to The Walks.

The former Norwich City academy player scored 24 goals for Dereham in 2014/15 to win the Magpies’ player of the season award and catch the eye of St Neots boss David Batch.

He signed a two-year deal with the Cambridgeshire side and made a good start to life with the Saints, 
leading to a trial at Peterborough United in January, only for a season-ending ankle injury to knock his hopes.

Having also had a trial at Stevenage earlier this season, Hawkins now looks set to sign a deal with Lynn, ahead of a home league clash with Banbury on Saturday.

“Ourselves and Ryan are in the process of parting amicably,” St Neots boss Andy Davies said.

“He needs to move on to get playing regular football, and a club closer to his home in Norfolk should be ideal.”

Meanwhile, the Linnets have extended the contract of striker Toby Hilliard through until the end of the 2018/19 season, amid interest from higher level clubs.

Lynn chairman Stephen Cleeve said: “Over the past couple of weeks scouts from other non-league and Football League clubs have been taking a look at Toby and it was agreed that we would put him on a club contract.

“I’ve also been looking at one maybe two more players to maybe be put on contract as well but that’s something that we will address on a later date.”

Hilliard, who has scored eight goals so far this season, added: “King’s Lynn is my home club and I’m grateful that I have earned the opportunity for a contract.

“I’d like to thank (manager) Gary Setchell, Stephen Cleeve, my team-mates and the fans for supporting me whilst I’ve been here and I look forward to progressing along with the team.”

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