New-look United ‘ready to go’

Sam Cole tries to lift the ball over the goalkeeper for Hastings United in last weekend's pre-season friendly against Ringmer. Picture courtesy Scott White
Sam Cole tries to lift the ball over the goalkeeper for Hastings United in last weekend's pre-season friendly against Ringmer. Picture courtesy Scott White
  • Hastings United to kick-off season at home to Chipstead today
  • Wilson’s first competitive game of second spell as manager
  • ‘Really important’ to start well, says boss
  • First time U’s have started season at home in four years

Hastings United are ‘ready to go’ according to manager Garry Wilson on the eve of the new season.

The U’s will kick-off their 2015/16 Ryman Football League Division One South campaign with a visit from Chipstead today (Saturday). Kick-off is 3pm.

We went through pre-season with only one defeat and there’s been a lot of positive signs.

Garry Wilson

Wilson said: “I think we’re ready to go. We went through pre-season with only one defeat and there’s been a lot of positive signs. The spirit’s been good, the effort’s been good and training as a whole I think has been very good.”

In Wilson the U’s have a new manager and the squad is quite different from last term too with a number of fresh faces arriving over the summer.

“We went after a lot of players; we lost out on a few, but gained a few that we targeted,” continued Wilson. “I think it’s a reasonable squad that we’ve put together and we’re there to do our best.

“Every team goes into the league to try and win it, and we’re no different. But you’ve got to be realistic. We were down the bottom last year, we’ve got a new team, and we’ve got to give ourselves a bit of time to bed together and perform as a group.

“We’ve put in a lot of work to get it right and hopefully that will pay off. It’s a tough division and I think it’s improving year on year, as all divisions are. I think there will be some tough teams.”

Wilson believes it’s ‘really important’ to begin the season well and is pleased to be at home on the opening day.

United won’t be at full strength, though, because Ollie Rowe, Harvey Hanifan and Tyrell Richardson-Brown are away. Alfie Hall and Stephen Okoh have picked up knocks, and Wilson said the latter has a bit of a problem with his international clearance.

Jerome Smith has come over from Little Common to help cover the absence of Rowe for the first month or so of the campaign and Wilson has been ‘really pleased’ with the defender so far.

United, who won 2-1 away to Ringmer in their final friendly last weekend, will also be in action on Tuesday night away to Sittingbourne.

Hastings United squad 2015/16 - Goalkeepers: Josh Pelling, Matt Cruttwell.

Defenders: Sam Crabb, Alfie Hall, Harvey Hanifan, Jerome Jibodu, Sean Ray, Ollie Rowe, Jerome Smith.

Midfielders: Sam Adams, Sam Cole, Sam Cruttwell, Alan Foster, Liam Foster, Kyle Holden, Max Hollobone, Stephen Okoh, Jack Walder.

Strikers: Zac Attwood, Jack Harris, Tyrell Richardson-Brown, Bright Temba.

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