Sporting line up Hawkins for LOI return
SPORTING Fingal are ready to offer multiple league winner Colin Hawkins another chance to play League of Ireland football.
Galway native Hawkins is one of the most decorated defenders around as he won league titles with St Pats (1998, 1999), Bohemians (2003) and Shelbourne (2006). He has been with Brighton for the past two years but Hawkins, 32, managed just one appearance last season due to injury and is now out of contract with the Seagulls.
Brighton boss Gus Poyet has told Hawkins that he can report back for pre-season training next month and try to prove his fitness and win a new contract, but Hawkins is eager to move back to Ireland for family reasons.
Sligo Rovers were reportedly keen on Hawkins and his hometown club Galway United also expressed an interest, but Fingal boss Liam Buckley is said to head the queue of managers eager to sign the centre half.
Hawkins was a key defender in the St Pats side which won the Premier Division title under Buckley in 1999.
Buckley would love to have a player of Hawkins' experience in the squad for the second half of the season as Fingal prepare to mount a challenge for the Premier Division title and also compete in European competition for the first time.
Hawkins has made 16 appearances in Europe for Pats, Shels and Bohs and that experience would be vital for a young side like Fingal as they prepare for a tough test against Portuguese side Maritimo.
Cyprus switch could be on cards for Flood
STRIKER Anto Flood has been offered the chance to move to Cypriot football after a successful spell with Premier Division side Galway United.
Dubliner Flood has been a hit with Galway this season following his move from Shelbourne, scoring seven goals for United, but his short-term contract runs out next month and an agent for Cypriot side APEP Pitsilias has recommended former St Pats man Flood.
APEP, who were relegated from the top division in Cyprus last season, have already signed up one Irish player as ex-Liverpool midfielder Michael Collins, who was previously in Italy with Triestina, has agreed a two-year deal.
-- AIDAN FITZMAURICE