Hastings aim to build squad of winners- as battle with FA continues

Read this weeks article in the Hastings & St Leonard’s Observer!

The ‘U’s have not given up hope of legal moves leading to the FA reversing the decision to expunge results for clubs at non-league step three and below which, as it stands, has cost the club the chance of promotion to the Isthmian premier division.

But they are pressing ahead with plans to put a squad in place who can replicate the success seen in this season’s Isthmian south-east division – or do well at the higher grade.

They have already secured the services for 2020-21 of two key current squad members, veteran defender Gary Elphick and goal ace Ben Pope.

Hastings CEO Billy Wood said the pair’s commitment to the club for the new season was just the start.

Many clubs seem to be waiting to see how the land lies after the pandemic shutdown before planning their squads – but not Hastings.
Wood told the Observer: “We are looking at players who will be important to us whether the season starts when it should, or in six months’ time.
“We don’t want to dwell on the negativity around us maybe not getting promotion, we want positivity and we want fighters around us who can help us win and achieve our ambitions. Getting Gary and Ben to commit to us is just the start – they will be two of many we recruit.
“With the energy around the club at the moment, if I were a player, I wouldn’t want to play for any other club in East Sussex.”

Wood revealed that apart from existing squad members, the ‘U’s had their eye on others they’d like to sign.

He also stressed the battle with the FA over the writing-off of the Isthmian south-east season was continuing.
Lawyers have written to the league on behalf of Hastings demanding answers over the process that led to the decision to expunge results.
Wood said: “We’re preparing for life in the south-east division but do we have the right to ask these questions? Absolutely!”