‘Dom was best candidate by long way’

Hastings United striker Ade Olorunda goes up for a header during last weekend's defeat away to Three Bridges. Picture by Jon Rigby (SUS-140710-121741002)
Hastings United striker Ade Olorunda goes up for a header during last weekend's defeat away to Three Bridges. Picture by Jon Rigby (SUS-140710-121741002)

Dom Di Paola was the best candidate for the Hastings United manager’s job by a long way, according to club director Simon Rudkins.

Di Paola, whose appointment was announced on Saturday night, succeeds Terry White, who resigned after a 3-0 defeat at home to Tooting & Mitcham United last month.

Rudkins said: “He was the best candidate by a long way. His enthusiasm, knowledge of football, qualifications, the way he came over... We’ve got a manager who’s young and ambitious, and I think it’s going to be good for us and him.”

Di Paola emerged as the unanimous choice of an extended interview panel that included supporter representation.

“There were some good candidates,” Rudkins continued. “But all of us agreed on the decision; there wasn’t any debate about it.”

A fans’ forum will follow Di Paola’s first game in charge at home to Guernsey tomorrow (Saturday), which will give supporters a chance to pose questions of Di Paola.

“I’m sure any supporters going to the forum after the Guernsey game will warm to him,” added Rudkins. “He’s very likeable and he comes across as being very honest.”

On a separate note, the league’s Robert Dyas Cup got underway this week, albeit without United, who decided not to enter this year despite achieving some good results in the competition in recent seasons.

Rudkins explained: “The fact that they’ve increased the league to 24 teams means an extra four games a season anyway and how many games do you want to cram in?

“This is only the second week of the season where we haven’t had a midweek game, and it’s a lot to ask of the players, management and volunteers to constantly give up midweeks.”