Ambitious Conference South champions Eastleigh have announced the signing of former Walsall, Kidderminster Harriers and….
…..Shrewsbury Town striker James Constable on a two-year contract.
Twenty-nine-year-old Constable has spent the last six years with Oxford United, for whom he scored in the 2010 Conference Premier play-off final when the U’s were promoted back into the Football League with victory over York City.
Spitfires’ boss, Richard Hill, is understandably delighted to capture the services of a player whose 106 strikes for his most recent employers is just one short of Oxford’s 40-year-old club goalscoring record.
Hill said: “I’ve spent the past two-and-a-half weeks speaking to James and telling him all about what we are striving to achieve here. On the three occasions we’ve met, and during numerous telephone conversations, the subject of money has never been raised.
“In truth, James was keen to stay at Oxford and overhaul the club’s scoring record – a feat that after six years of committed service there he was desperate to achieve. He was initially holding out in the hope that Oxford would offer him fair terms to stay and do that. Oxford’s loss, though, is definitely our gain.
“James is exactly the type of player that Eastleigh need to be signing, not only to meet our immediate objective to establish ourselves in next season’s Conference Premier, but as a statement of where we view this club going in the long-term.
“Don’t misinterpret James dropping down a level as representing any lack of personal ambition.
“After listening to what we’ve had to say he is excited to be embarking on this next stage of the Eastleigh project with us, and wholeheartedly believes he is coming to a place where he can be part of something extremely special.”
Constable began his career as a non-League player with Cirencester Town and then Chippenham Town.
The attacker’s prolific form with Chippenham won him a move in 2005 to League One Walsall.
A year later, Constable agreed a two-month loan switch to Kidderminster. He went on to complete a full-time switch to the Harriers where, during his fourteen month stay, his thirty goals included two against Stevenage Borough in the 2007 FA Trophy Final at Wembley.
Constable joined Shrewsbury in January 2008, before linking up with Oxford on an initial year-long loan later that year – the club at which he has remained until his arrival at the Silverlake Stadium.