Max Mitchell has continued to add quality to his squad with the signing of Jonathan Hosking. The centre-half played for Dulwich Hamlet as well as featuring for the University of Nottingham before making the move to East London ahead of the 2020/21 season.
The new signing spoke to us about how he came to join the club, and his hopes for the 2020-21 season.
“I had trained with the club when the initial restrictions were lifted and became familiar with the ground and personnel at the club. Thinking ahead to the new season, I felt it was a great opportunity for me and people I respect were giving me glowing references of the club. Once I had spoken to Max, he won me over with the idea of the commitment, attitude and winning mentality he wanted to install into the club. I didn’t know any of the boys specifically but it was clear I wanted to be at this club.”
According to Hosking, the gaffer was the main reason he signed for the club. “Yes, I’d say he was the main reason. I was really impressed by him and he’s shown a lot of respect. He’s the perfect fit for the club. He wasn’t the only reason as all the boys were really welcoming but it was a big factor from day one.”
It wasn’t quite straight forward for the new Stow man as he had given up football for a job as a fashion model. His love for playing the game had faded as he went to seek new opportunities. He travelled the world but a desire to get back on the pitch never went away. “I became quite disillusioned with the game. As soon as I stopped playing, that was it for me. I still watched the game and continued to go to Crystal Palace as a season ticket holder whenever I was in the UK but I went a year without playing. It wasn’t a case of never playing again as I knew that should I get back to playing, my love would come right back. At the time, my love faded.”
On top of pursuing a new career, Jon faced injury, dislocating his shoulder which also kept him away from the game. He had to find a footballing mindset once again when he joined Walthamstow.
“I found it quite quickly. In fact, it was 20-minutes into my first game for the club. It felt like riding a bike. It came to me whether that was blocking a run, passing the ball or tackling. It was good to be back playing.”
While studying, he played for the university first team, as well as some Saturday football. “The level of football was high. Some of the best players I’ve played with were at uni level. There are some top players in that system. That brought my love back for playing as well as playing with Alleyn Old Boys back in London. That was a great opportunity and place to play.”
Ahead of the new season, Jon has already set his sights of targets. “My main priority as a player is to nail down a position in the starting 11 and make centre-half a position for me. From a team perspective, an FA Cup run would be great for the fans and a run in the Vase would also be good. There are no excuses as to why we shouldn’t be winning silverware and getting promoted.”
“I want to enjoy my time playing and do as well as I can. I might only have 3 or 4 more seasons playing so I want to take it as it comes. My first focus is to obviously nail down that position and do as well as I can for Walthamstow. I’m not looking too much to the future. I just want a good season under my belt.”