Hastings United boss: I wouldn’t be surpised if Lovatt becomes Leeds United player

Adam Lovatt in action for Hastings United against Guernsey last month. Picture courtesy Scott White
Adam Lovatt in action for Hastings United against Guernsey last month. Picture courtesy Scott White

Hastings United Football Club manager Chris Agutter said he wouldn’t be surprised if Adam Lovatt becomes a Leeds United player.

The Hastings midfielder, who has only just turned 19, will be heading to the Sky Bet Championship high-flyers for a five-day trial starting on Monday.

Agutter said: “He’s already made a good impression because they’re interested in him and he’s got a lot of clubs in for him.

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“He needs to go up there, continue to work hard, enjoy it and be himself - because it’s him that’s got himself in that great position.

“He’s ice cold, he’s not emotional at all. He won’t be flustered by it, he’ll go about his business and hopefully he’s successful.”

Equally adept at starting attacks and breaking up opposition raids in the holding midfield role, Lovatt is described by Agutter as ‘the fulcrum of the team’.

The manager continued: “I always say what’s the worst that can happen? You don’t have to say much to him. Some players you find yourself saying the same thing over and over again, but he’s one of those players you only have to tell once.

“He doesn’t need any advice. He will go up there and be fine. He’s a great lad and he’s got a very good family around him.

“I wouldn’t be surprised if he does very well and becomes a Leeds United player. He’s done incredibly well and this is just the start for him to be honest.

“It’s something that the whole club can be proud of. It’s a win-win for us. If he’s not successful, we will benefit. If he is, great for the lad and that fits the ethos of the club.

“It’s really positive times. We’re producing young local players playing good football and competing at the top of the league. Everyone’s very happy at the club and and everyone’s really positive with where we’re at.”

Another young midfielder, James Pool, impressed Agutter with his performance on his first senior start for Hastings against Whyteleafe on Tuesday.

“We learnt on Tuesday night that James Pool is ready to play for Hastings United,” Agutter said: “He didn’t give the ball away for 90 minutes and nicked the ball back an awful lot as well. He played really well and he’s put himself in a really favourable position.”

Two more senior midfielders, Sam Adams and Jack Dixon, will return after suspension for the visit of East Grinstead Town in the Bostik League South East Division tomorrow (Saturday).

Lanre Azeez and Hassan Ibrahim aren’t 100 percent fit, but Agutter expects to sign centre-half Jack Tucker on loan from Gillingham in time for a match which will kick-off at 3pm.

After taking one point from their two games over the past week, second-placed Hastings could really do with a victory against a 15th-placed East Grinstead side which they beat 9-2 in the Velocity Trophy during September.

“We’ll look back a little bit, but try not to look back too much,” added Agutter. “If we can bring our best level to East Grinstead, then I think we’ll win the game.

“They’re well organised, Matt Longhurst’s a decent manager and they’re definitely stronger than last season. It’s certainly not going to be a gimme. We’re very confident that if we’re on it and playing well, we can carve any team open in this division.”