New Hastings United manager Darren Hare has urged supporters to remain patient after another senior player left the football club this week.
After the departure of midfielder Sam Adams to Hythe Town at the start of last week, defender Sean Ray has agreed terms to join Eastbourne Town for the 2016/17 season.
“The fans have got to be a bit patient,” said Hare, who was appointed on Wednesday, last week. “Don’t panic, there will be signings that will excite them in the coming weeks. We will have a decent side.”
Between them Adams and Ray have made nearly 850 appearances for United, and Ray was also player/manager from October 2011 until August 2013.
“I’ve let Sean go,” said Hare. “It was very amicable, I want a fresh approach at centre-half. I did try to speak to Sam, but he’s quite adamant he wants a fresh challenge. Unfortunately he had made his mind up.”
Hare has re-opened negotiations with Ollie Rowe, who captained United for much of last season, and feels confident the defender will stay at the club.
Burgess Hill Town reported last Thursday that they had agreed terms with Rowe, but their manager Ian Chapman said this Tuesday that the situation was now ‘up in the air’ after Rowe - who’s been away on holiday this week - had got a new job.
Much of Hare’s first week in the United hot seat has inevitably been taken up with speaking to existing and potentially new players.
“I’ve met with about half a dozen of the established first team players and I will meet a couple more by the end of the week,” said Hare, speaking on Wednesday afternoon. “The discussions have been positive, I’ve enjoyed chatting with the players.
“A few of the squad I’ve made offers to and they’re still pondering things over. I think all will become clearer after the weekend and hopefully we’ll be able to announce a few.
“The board know which ones I want to keep and they’re being really supportive.
“I’m really looking forward to the challenge, but it’s not easy. I’m actually finding it a lot more difficult than I thought to speak to players on a realistic level - that’s the nature of the beast at the moment.
“There’s quite a bit of money in Ryman South football. I’m speaking to players that are Ryman Premier or above and they want a bit of money to come down to the level.
“I’ll do my best to shop around. I’m definitely going to be patient, players will become available. What I don’t want to do is spend all my money.
“Once two or three players sign, that will spearhead the rest. We’ve got to get the right players; I want to get players who are going to wear their hearts on their sleeves.”
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