United close in on first target
The new Hastings United Football Club managerial team is hoping to complete its first significant signing in the coming days.
United manager Garry Wilson and assistant Danny Bloor were appointed early last week, and the squad building efforts are already under way.
Speaking yesterday (Thursday) morning, Bloor said: “I’ve probably spoken to about 15, 20 players at varying levels from various clubs.
“One particular player has given us a verbal commitment and we hope to get him signed certainly by next Monday or Tuesday, hopefully over the weekend.
“We’ve been working on a number of other things as well to make sure we’re right to start pre-season on July 4 and the league season on August 8.”
Bloor said that he and Wilson are hoping to bring in some players from Lewes - where they worked together for much of last season - and unsurprisingly the squad is likely to contain a mixture of new and existing players.
Bloor has spoken to quite a few members of the United squad which ended the 2014/15 Ryman Football League Division One South season and several meetings are arranged for next week once Wilson returns from holiday.
“We want to get the right group of players together, all with the right character and working hard for each other,” Bloor continued. “Our target is to assemble a good, strong, hard-working, disciplined squad and hopefully get us right up to the top of the league.”
While Wilson will be a familiar face to much of The Pilot Field faithful following his previous association with the club (then known as Hastings Town) in the late 20th century, Bloor is a complete newcomer to United.
The Uckfield-based 45-year-old has previously managed Burgess Hill Town to the Sussex County League title by a record number of points, been assistant manager and manager at Worthing - who he led to the Ryman Division One South play-offs twice, and managed Eastbourne Town to their highest ever league position.
“I’m really looking forward to it,” added Bloor, who managed United goalkeeper Josh Pelling at Eastbourne Town. “It hasn’t been the greatest time for Hastings over the last couple of years, but Garry tells me what a great club Hastings is and with the new board on board, it’s an exciting time. It’s onwards, upwards and forwards isn’t it.”
Bloor, who works in sports promotion, regards United as having the best pitch in the east of the county.
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