Agutter delighted with 17-man squad Hastings hope will win title

Chris Agutter surveyed his 17-man Hastings United squad and declared: I’m delighted with it.

Friday, 25th June 2021, 7:30 am
Chris Agutter / Picture: Scott White

Former Gillingham defender Ryan Huckle became the latest Pilot Field recruit last weekend – the third new face added to the line-up.

And with 14 of last season’s squad staying with the club, and numerous talented youngsters in the academy pushing for recognition, manager Agutter feels he has the ingredients for a successful title bid.

Hastings are desperate to get out of the Isthmian south-east division after two seasons which were scrapped with them top of the tree.

Ryan Huckle

And Agutter believes Huckle and his other two signings – midfielder Sam Hasler and teenage winger Freddie Legg – will complement the 14 remaining who he and the fans already know plenty about.

“It’s a squad of 17 and I’m very happy with it. Continuity is important when you’ve had a team that’s earned 2.3 points per game, scored 1.8 goals a game and conceded only 0.6 a game.

“The squad is a group of winners – they know how to win games so even if I get my tactics wrong, they will be okay. And it’s a squad we can add to from the academy if we need to.”

Agutter does not expect to add any more new signings and will welcome his troops back to ‘proper’ pre-season training on Monday, July 5, having been offering optional sessions this month that pretty much the whole squad have attended.

Freddie Legg

The first friendlies involve trips to AFC Uckfield on July 7 and Walton Casuals on July 10.

Huckle is the latest to join the squad, although Agutter said the central defender had been around the club since last autumn.

Agutter said: “He is a strong, combative-defend-first centre back who fits the team’s ethos of clean sheets being king.

“He enjoys defending and relishes his job of keeping the ball out of his net which coupled with his honest and hard-working character makes him a great addition to the club. Hucks will add size and presence to an already big side.”

The manager is excited to bring former Bexhill youngster Legg into the squad.

“Freddie’s someone we’ve worked with for a year. He’s 6ft 1, seriously fast and is a good, conscientious kid, a great trainer.”