|James joined the Hawks in July 2002 after being released by AFC Bournemouth, where he started his career after rising through the youth ranks. James made several league appearances for the Cherries, featured strongly as a defender in their reserve team, and also spent some time on loan with Dorchester Town.
After an unsettled start with the Hawks he spent a lengthy period on loan with Bognor Regis during their Championship season in 2002/03, but returned to the Hawks vastly improved. Last season he gained a regular place in the starting eleven and went on to prove himself essential in the struggle for promotion. His achievements were capped when he became the inaugural winner of the Ken Reed Memorial Trophy for the Hawks Young Player of the Year.
Despite this accolade he failed to make an impression in the 2004/05 season under new manager Ian Baird and was released in January