Breaking news: United complete another signing

Hastings United have further strengthened their squad with the signing of Reece Butler
Hastings United have further strengthened their squad with the signing of Reece Butler

Hot on the heels of last night's (Wednesday's) two signings, Hastings United Football Club has announced another addition this afternoon.

The U's have followed up the capture of ex-Chelsea goalkeeper Lenny Pidgeley and in-form attacking player Harry Stannard by bringing in young left-back Reece Butler.

United manager Darren Hare told Observer Sport: "He's an outstanding young prospect and I believe that's our left-back problem solved now. He's one of the fittest young players I've ever seen, he's a good defender and he's not bad on the ball either. I think you're going to see a flying full-back."

Butler has been getting over an injury to his foot during recent weeks, but is now back in full training. He featured in United's friendly against Welling United on Saturday and Hare watched him play for Maidstone United's academy against Rochester United last night.

"He played 60 minutes last night and came through that no problem," said Hare, who believes Butler and Stannard are destined to go on and play at a higher level. "I thought he did remarkably well considering he did absolutely nothing (in terms of training) going into the game against Welling."

Hare was keen to express his appreciation for the support shown to him by the club's board of directors in assembling an increasingly strong-looking squad ahead of the 2016/17 Ryman Football League Division One South campaign.

"The club have been unbelievable," he went on. "I can't believe how supportive they've been of me. I've passed on my thanks to everyone for helping me assemble what I believe is a very strong squad capable of being up there and trying to achieve promotion.

"I've got good strength and and competition in all areas. If we can keep everybody fit and keep passing the ball the way we do, especially at home, I think we'll do well."

With several players nursing pre-season knocks, Hare is giving his squad the coming weekend off. All of those who are fit will get some more game time in the club's penultimate pre-season friendly at home to Westfield next Tuesday night, kick-off 7.45pm.

United will host Havant & Waterlooville in their final warm-up game on Saturday August 6 before the league campaign starts with a visit from South Park on Saturday August 13.

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