Lure of dressing room attracted Maggs

New Hastings United manager John Maggs
New Hastings United manager John Maggs

New Hastings United manager John Maggs said that ‘the lure of getting back in the dressing room’ persuaded him to step into The Pilot Field hot seat.

Maggs had previously been general manager at Tonbridge Angels, but admits his head was turned when the opportunity arose for him to get back into first team management.

Speaking after the 3-1 win over Ramsgate on Monday, Maggs said: “I’ve left a big job at a really good football club who gave me everything I asked for, but the lure of coming back into the dressing room is what I’m all about. When the opportunity cropped up, I had to be interested.

“To be honest I didn’t know anything about it (the managerial vacancy) until Thursday last week when contact was made from the club. I spoke to the chairman Thursday, and Friday morning I got a phone call and the chairman said he would like to offer me the job.

“It’s a football club which has got potential to go a long way. I’ve seen that today with 450 people here and for this level in Ryman South that’s a very, very good gate. I’m sure if we push on, the gates will increase. I know that the fans at Hastings are very passionate over the many years when I’ve visited the club and hopefully we can take them forward.”

Sompting-based Maggs, a stalwart of Crawley Town and Horsham, suggested that Mark Stapley and Terry White - who have led the club to second place in a caretaker capacity - will remain at the club as part of his backroom staff.

“Everyone at Hastings Football Club have got to be delighted with the start they’ve had, and all credit to Terry and Mark,” Maggs continued. “I’ve not come here to make drastic changes in that area. I’ve known Terry for a long, long time in the football world. He’s got Hastings Football Club in his heart and he’s a good coach. I’m sure we’ll bounce off each other and I think the club will benefit by it.

“I’m not going in there today or next week and start having a big clearout; I’m going to give everyone their chance. With five wins and one draw under your belt...if it doesn’t need fixing, don’t try and mend it. If I can bring perhaps one or two people in which will strengthen the side and take us forward, then that’s what I’m here for.”