Hankins joins from Blues as AFC Dunstable announce new signings

Former Dunstable boss McCool named director of football

AFC Dunstable have signed forward Joe Hankins from SSML Premier Division neighbours and ground-sharers Dunstable Town.

Hankins has been on AFC’s books before, starting out with the club as a youngster, making 10 first-team appearances and scoring one goal, before joining Crawley Green in 2017.

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He moved to Southern League Premier Division Central outfit Royston Town and made a dozen appearances for the Crows, netting a couple of goals.

Hankins then moved to SSML Premier Division side Biggleswade United in the summer of 2018 where he netted 15 times in 41 games, before heading to Dunstable Town the following campaign, scoring 12 goals in 22 appearances.

Hankins was one of two new additions announced by AFC last week, with centre half Lewis Ferrell also moving to Creasey Park following spells at Braintree Town and Biggleswade Town.

The duo were a number of players to put pen to paper as AFC confirmed their squad for the 2021-22 season, with club record goalscorer BJ Christie, fresh from a loan move to Hemel Hempstead FC when football resumed last term, being named club captain.

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Boss Steve Heath, who will continue in charge this year, supported by assistant Leon Cashman, said: “I’m really pleased BJ has taken up the challenge of being captain.”

Christie will be supported by the long-serving former Luton defender Newman Carney who is vice-captain.

Another ex-Town youngster Chris Tavernier is back after an injury- affected campaign, while Alasan Ann, who made one first team appearance for the Hatters, and can play in defence or midfield is also on board.

Goalkeeper Dan Green, right back Brett Longden, centre half Sam McClelland , midfielders Dylan Baker and Jack Harvey, plus forward Jake Newman have all agreed to stay on as well.

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Two youngsters from the AFC Development team have joined the squad too looking to break into the first team, with James Lauder and Jack McCool on board.

Off the field, Paul Blackman has stepped down as assistant manager to take some time away from football, while the club have appointed former Dunstable Town boss Tony McCool as director of football.

He will be working closely with Heath and Colin Lauder on developing the player pathway strategy.

AFC start their pre-season campaign at Leverstock Green on July 10.