United duo linked with Borough switch

HASTINGS UNITED playmaker Danny Simmonds is being linked with a switch to Eastbourne Borough - and Stuart Playford could be joining him.

Although Simmonds and Borough have neither confirmed nor denied the switch, Hastings secretary Tony Cosens is in no doubt that the midfielder has agreed to join his home town club. "Danny Simmonds has gone to Eastbourne Borough and I'm almost certain that Stuart Playford has done so as well," he revealed.

Both players are regarded as cornerstones of the Hastings team and their loss would be a huge blow for a club trying to sort itself out in time for the start of next season.

An air of uncertainty pervades the Pilot Field at the moment as director Mick Maplesden attempts to sell his majority shareholding in the club. Things are just as clouded on the pitch following the decision of manager George Wakeling and assistant Mike Flanagan to resign, while left wing-back Nick Hegley has joined Folkestone Invicta.

Only Duncan McArthur and Chris Honey are on contract which means the rest of the squad is free to talk to other clubs. Simmonds admitted: "I have spoken to some clubs and that's all I can say at the moment."

If both players do move to Priory Lane, Borough boss Garry Wilson will know what he's getting having managed the duo while in charge at Hastings. In fact, he even brought Simmonds to the Pilot Field in the summer of 1995.

Simmonds, 28, can play in a variety of positions although it is in midfield where he has made most of his 373 appearances and scored 88 goals. Thirty-one-year-old Playford is seen as a defensive rock, notching up 391 games and 49 goals.

Wilson refused to comment on the transfer speculation. "I'm talking to my own players at the moment and I don't think it's fair that they read about who I've signed in the press," he said.

The search for Wakeling's replacement will go into next week. Hastings had hoped to make an appointment a couple of days ago but the decision has been delayed due to unforeseen circumstances.

Twelve applications have been received and a shortlist will be drawn up over the weekend with the interviews being held early next week.