Havant and Waterlooville FC are thrilled to announce the signing of Jason Prior following his release from Dorking Wanderers, subject to FA Approval on June 1st, 2022.
Jason Prior rejoins the Hawks after he spent last season with the National League South’s second place side and eventual playoff winners, Dorking Wanderers.
Prior featured in 24 games for the Surrey club in all competitions, starting 20 of those in a season that was hampered by injuries. Despite the disruption the forward still managed to net 9 goals, including the opener in the playoff semi-final and 3 against the Hawks.
The 33-year-old hit his best form at the business end of last season netting 3 goals in 4 games either side of Easter weekend. A man described by his former manager Marc White as a “leader and a serial winner” Prior still has an uncanny knack for arriving in the box at the right time and drifting off the back shoulder of defenders.
About our new addition
True “Roy of the Rovers” moments are rare in football, fairytale endings, those last-ditch goals to secure promotions, titles and cups. When these moments do come along they tend to be remembered for a long time. That is why Manchester City recently unveiled a statue of that Aguero moment outside the Etihad, why they also printed 93:20 into the back of their home shirts and why the latest signing will need no introduction to Hawks fans.
Hosting Concord Rangers on the final day of the 2017-18 season with moments left to play and needing a goal to win the league Prior stepped up and slotted the ball past Louis Wells; the rest as they say is history. Now JP9, already a club legend is back for another spell and looking to continue his prolific non-league goal scoring record.
Somewhat of a local hero the Portsmouth born striker has taken in Moneyfields, Bognor and Gosport Borough in his highly successful career.
Two things sum up Prior’s 17 years in senior football, promotions and a lot of goals. Initially drawing notoriety for the eye watering 95 goals in 126 appearances he scored with the Rocks, Prior earned a trial with premier league Newcastle and a contract with football league Wimbledon.
Terrible injury luck halted Prior’s ascension up the football pyramid and he wound up back on the south coast for another spell at Bognor which included a 40-goal haul in 2015-16. It was that return that prompted former gaffer Lee Bradbury to sign the forward for his first Hawks spell which saw another efficient tally of 57 goals in 100 appearances in all competitions (40 in 83 in league fixtures.)
After becoming the first player Dorking Wanderers ever officially paid money for, Prior went on to win 2 promotions with the Wanderers. Now back in the white shirts of Havant and Waterlooville JP9 will be hoping to fire a club into the 5th tier of English football for the 3rd time in his career.
Words by Matt Drabble