Hastings make double swoop

Barry Cogan in action during his Dover Athletic days. Picture by Sally Ellis
Barry Cogan in action during his Dover Athletic days. Picture by Sally Ellis
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Hastings United Football Club has made a double swoop in time for a home league game this afternoon (Saturday).

The U's completed the signings of Stephen Butcher and Barry Cogan yesterday ahead of the Ryman Football League Division One South fixture at home to Godalming Town. Kick-off at The Pilot Field is 3pm.

Cogan is an experienced attacking midfielder, who notably played the final 15 minutes of the 2004 FA Cup final for Millwall against Manchester United as a 19-year-old.

The Irishman later had spells at Barnet, Gillingham, Grays Athletic, Crawley Town before making 146 appearances for Dover Athletic from 2010-2015. He has subsequently been at Dartford and, briefly, Leatherhead.

The 31-year-old's signing came a day after United manager Darren Hare released holding midfielder Wayne Wilson.

Hare told www,hastingsunited.com: "Sometimes timing is everything and I believe this was meant to be as I became aware of his availability 20 minutes after losing Wayne.

"Barry is a different player, though. He is built more for attacking rather than sitting and has a tremendous pedigree of playing at a high level. He is renowned for his ability to get into the penalty box and score goals from midfield, as he did for Dover.

"He is a fit lad, mobile and, above all, he is a top person. He will do very well for us I’m sure and I am excited about his arrival."

Butcher is a defender/midfielder who arrives from Ramsgate having previously come through the youth ranks at Gillingham before joining Maidstone United.

Hare said: "Stephen is a right-sided defender who can also play at centre-half or in midfield. He is athletic and pacy, and gives us great options in different formations.

"Steve was in my youth team, was a young pro at Gillingham and made his debut in League One aged 19 when Martin Allen was in charge. He is young and has ambition to play at a higher level so I hope he can achieve that ambition with us. I'm delighted to have convinced him to sign."

Today's game will also be the last for on loan Jay May before the forward returns to parent club Maidstone United.

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