Ex-Brighton & Hove Albion defender joins Hastings United

New Hastings United signing Gary Elphick
New Hastings United signing Gary Elphick

Hastings United have completed the signing of a former Brighton & Hove Albion defender, according to the football club’s website.

As reported by www.hastingsunited.com, Gary Elphick has joined the Bostik League South East Division play-off hopefuls ahead of Saturday’s important trip to VCD Athletic.

Hastings manager Chris Agutter told the club website: “Very pleased to finally welcome Gary on board. It’s no secret that we’ve needed an experienced centre-back for some time.

See also: * Hastings United boss explains goalkeeper change
* Hastings United boss: Players did everything asked of them
* Hastings United beaten by fellow play-off hopefuls

“To have acquired the services of a player of Gary’s stature and experience, and the impact that will have on our young dressing room can’t be underestimated.

“Bringing in a player of Gary’s calibre only reinforces and helps facilitate the club’s belief in developing local talent, as his experience and knowledge can only benefit those around him, both on and off the pitch.”

Elphick made two appearances for Brighton from 2004-06 before moving into the non-league game with the likes of St Albans City, Havant & Waterlooville, Eastbourne Borough, Eastleigh, Tonbridge Angels and Worthing.

The 33-year-old, whose younger brother Tommy plays for Sky Bet Championship club Aston Villa, also managed Worthing from 2015-17, the majority of that time on a joint basis with Jon Meeney.

He subsequently joined Burgess Hill Town as a player in September 2017 and made 26 appearances for the Hillians this season, the last of them in late January. Elphick left Burgess Hill in early February, with manager Simon Wormull saying he required ‘some time away from the game’.

Elphick arrives at Hastings with the club having dropped two places to fifth in the table following Saturday’s unfortunate 4-2 loss at home to Haywards Heath Town.

Hastings have won just one of their last seven matches and haven’t kept a clean sheet in any of them.

Bostik League South East Division top half (played-points): 1 Cray Wanderers 27-68 (+39 goal difference), 2 Horsham 28-55 (+22), 3 Haywards Heath Town 28-52 (+17), 4 Ashford United 27-51 (+28), 5 HASTINGS UNITED 28-50 (+20), 6 Whyteleafe 27-41 (+11), 7 VCD Athletic 26-41 (+3), 8 Hythe Town 28-40 (+6), 9 Ramsgate 28-36 (+5), 10 Phoenix Sports 27-35 (-4).