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Baptiste signs new contract
Tue May 30, 2006 : 23:17
Rocky Baptiste will play in Hawks colours again next season. The 30 goal striker has been subject to approaches from several other clubs in the last few weeks, but now becomes the final player from last seasonís impressive line-up to ink a new contract - with manager Ian Baird now looking to build on his side with new signings.
In detail, the players who have been retained or have signed new contracts are: Darren Annon, Rocky Baptiste, Luke Byles, Neil Champion, Jamie Collins, Neil Davis, Gareth Howells, Tom Jordan, Richard Pacquette, Brett Poate, Shea Saunders, Neil Sharp, Fitzroy Simpson, Tony Taggart, Craig Watkins and Carl Wilson-Denis. Ludovic Quisten has also been retained, and it is hoped he will play a bigger part in the coming season than he did the last. The midfielder recently had a knee operation in France and has been convalescing in his native Guadeloupe in the French West Indies. Colin Matthews will also be with the Hawks next season, although doubts persist over his fitness and it is estimated he will not feature in the side until well into the Autumn.
Of the remaining players, Jordan Fowler has been retained but transfer listed and Matt Gray has been offered a short-term deal to see if he can return to full fitness after spending much of last season out injured. Byron Harrison and Sam Pearce have both been assured of a future at the Hawks but will spend next season away from the club gaining experience through regular football at as yet unnamed Ryman or Southern League sides. Robbie Pethick has retired, and Guy Lopez DaCruz, Seb Wallis-Tayler and Craig Newman have been released. Lopez DaCruz remains the only player Ian Baird is said to have wanted to retain, but the midfielder was unable to come to a financial agreement that the Hawks boss was happy with.