Hastings United snap up proven higher level performer

Craig Stone is joining Hastings United for the 2019/20 season
Craig Stone is joining Hastings United for the 2019/20 season

Hastings United have signed a player with considerable higher level experience, according to the football club’s website.

As reported by www.hastingsunited.com, former Gillingham, Ebbsfleet United, Dover Athletic and Eastbourne Borough man Craig Stone is joining the club for the 2019/20 season.

Hastings manager Chris Agutter told the club website: “Brilliant piece of business for the club. Stoney is an out and out winner - he’s won four promotions from leagues above, including the old Nationwide Conference National.

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“We worked together at Eastbourne Borough where Stoney was very important to a team competing for the play-offs in the National League South. He’s been there and done it, and will help our young group in a big way.”

A midfielder or defender, Stone began his career with Gillingham, for whom he made 15 appearances from 2005-08.

The 30-year-old later played well over 100 times for Ebbsfleet from 2008-13 before featuring regularly for Dover from 2013-15 and Eastbourne from 2015-17. He has spent most of the last two years with Tonbridge Angels in the Bostik League Premier Division.

Stone will also assist Agutter, assistant manager Andrew Brown and Peter Heritage with coaching duties at Bostik League South East Division side Hastings.

Agutter added: “Craig is first and foremost a player, but is also a very talented coach who will add more quality, knowledge and experience to the coaching staff.

“What our younger players can’t learn about football from the likes of Stoney, Gaz (Gary Elphick), Dicko (Jack Dixon) and Sammy (Sam Adams) isn’t worth knowing.”

Stone told the club website: “I’m looking forward to getting started. It’s a new challenge for me as a player/coach - I’m looking forward to every minute of it and assisting Aggy (Agutter) in getting Hastings United promoted.”