We are delighted to announce that Alex Laing has become our fourth new signing ahead of the 2021/22 season.
The 25-year-old forward left Burgess Hill Town last season and was set to join the Hornets for the rest of the previous campaign before it was cancelled.
As with Brad Wilson, Alex was only able to play in a few friendlies for the Hornets last December, but he has yet to play competitive football for the club.
A right-footed attacker, who feels most at home on the left wing, but is able to play in various forward roles, Alex is looking forward to the year ahead at The Camping World Community Stadium. He said: “I was with Burgess Hill at the start of last season and then Jay (Burgess Hill manager) told me that Dom had put a seven-day approach in for me.
“Even he supported the move and said he wouldn’t blame me if I wanted to go. It’s a good club and a league higher and he knew that I was at the stage of wanting to take football seriously again and that was it.
“I spoke to Dom, and it was a no-brainer with the club where it’s at.”
A former scholar at Crawley Town, Alex has played at a number of fellow Sussex clubs in recent years including Worthing, Shoreham, Lewes, Haywards Heath Town, and most recently Burgess Hill Town.
“I had a full season (at this level) when I was 19 with Lewes. We got relegated, but I had an alright year myself, goal-wise, but that was the only year I have played at this level.
“I’ve always been quite hot-headed on the pitch, but since having a baby, it’s mellowed me a little bit. I look at football and think I’ve wasted a lot of years playing for sides I shouldn’t have been playing for. When Dom rang me I definitely wanted to give it a go.”
Alex added: “When Dom first messaged me I was a little taken aback, just because of the players that are here. I did say to him when we first spoke ‘do you need me?’ because the squad is brilliant, but playing in those friendlies last December did open my eyes up a little bit seeing the attacking options and where I can fit in.”
Alex had a very brief previous spell at the club back in the 2016/17 season but was never able to stake a claim in the first team, but Dom is happy he’s found his feet and believes he fully deserves a place in next season’s squad.
Dom explained: “He can play in a number of different positions, he’s got good energy, and he’s quite a direct footballer. We’ve always liked him.
“He’s a player with good hunger and desire, and in the right group he can offer something. Got lots of talent, he just needs to settle somewhere so hopefully he delivers with us.
“We think he’s got the ability to do it and he’s at a good age now where he’s mature enough to give this league a go. We’ve lost quite a lot of forward players – Arron Hopkinson, Reece Hall – and we’ve got to bring in some competition in the final third.
“If a player can play in two or three different positions and are willing to give it a good go with us then they’re a valuable asset. We’ve got to bring our forward line back up to the numbers we had last year and at the moment we don’t have them.”
Much like our other new signings, Alex is confident we’ll have tasted success by this time next year.
“On paper, the squad is ridiculous. It could easily go up to the league above and compete at that level. The players that are here are some of the best I’ve played with or against, so definitely promotion this year is easily achievable.
“For me, personally, I just want to cement a shirt and try and score as many as I can, keep my head down and just have a good year.”
Welcome on board, Alex!