Hastings United Football Club says it is seeking some stability by appointing new manager Adam Hinshelwood on a three-year contract.
Placing a manager on such a long-term deal is an unprecedented move for the ambitious Ryman Football League Division One South club.
Club director Dave Nessling, speaking on behalf of the board, said: “We want a manager that is going to stay. For the last 10, 15 years the club have had so many managers and there’s been no continuity.
“We thought we had got Darren Hare (who resigned last weekend after a year in charge) for the long term, but it hasn’t turned out that way. We thought we would try and cement something in place.”
Hinshelwood will work on a full time basis as manager and in the Hastings United/Sussex Coast College Hastings Football Academy alongside the club’s coaching partner Skiltek Ltd.
United’s academy team enjoyed an excellent 2016/17 season, finishing runners-up in The National League U19 Alliance Division B, and the club naturally hopes its academy can produce homegrown talent to play for the first team.
“This is a long-term process,” continued Nessling. “It’s not going to happen overnight, although we would anticipate there would be two or three from last year’s crop that are going to be there or thereabouts this year.
“We also held a recruitment day for the next crop and that crop look even more encouraging. There’s some really good players amongst it and we’re picking players up from outside the town as well.”
Nessling also confirmed on Wednesday morning that United have already made their first signing since the appointment of Hinshelwood and the player in question will be placed on contract.
“That shows we’re not just going to be concentrating on youth; we’re still looking to bring in quality players as well,” he went on.
Hinshelwood has left his role as assistant coach of Brighton & Hove Albion’s under-18 team to move to The Pilot Field.
“His record is very good,” Nessling added. “He’s been in the Ryman League before at Worthing and developed a young side there that’s carried them through the last years and gone up to the Ryman Premier.
“He’s a young, fresh face and we were looking for someone that would work well with the academy in terms of not being too far away from the age group.”
It was a whirlwind 48 hours at The Pilot Field with the announcement of Hinshelwood’s appointment coming just two days after news of Hare’s resignation.
Nessling explained: “We had a feeling from a meeting we had with him (Hare) before he went away (on holiday) that maybe he had got a number of things to think about and we had an inkling it (resigning) might be what he said (when he came back).
“We did start making a few enquiries so that we were prepared in case. When he came back and did that (resigned), we had to follow it up quickly. We had two or three targets and we got the top target.”
See our comprehensive sports coverage in the Observer every Friday.
Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.
Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.
1 Make this website your homepage
2 Like our Facebook page at facebook.com/pages/Sport-Sussex
3 Follow us on Twitter @SportSussex
4 Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.
And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!