Hastings United talent almost joined Sunderland

Adam Lovatt on the ball during Hastings United's 3-2 win at home to Cray Wanderers last weekend. Picture courtesy Scott White
Adam Lovatt on the ball during Hastings United's 3-2 win at home to Cray Wanderers last weekend. Picture courtesy Scott White

Hastings United Football Club has revealed that one of its midfielders almost joined a League One team earlier this year.

Bostik League South Division promotion hopefuls Hastings say on their website that the club reached agreement with Sunderland AFC for the sale of Adam Lovatt on the last day of the January transfer window.

The transfer could not be finalised, however, due to difficulties in getting Lovatt’s medical completed before the window closed and without the medical, the EFL did not have it in their power to rubber-stamp the proposed transfer.

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A statement on the club website said: “Obviously the situation was a disappointment to both Adam and the club, and the club think it is a credit to Adam in terms of how he has buckled down to his football since his disappointment.

“The club is sure that Adam will get his wish of getting into full-time football, maybe at the end of this season, as the club is aware of a number of full-time professional clubs that are watching Adam on a regular basis.”

Lovatt has made 35 appearances for Hastings this season and 65 in total since breaking into the side during the 2017/18 campaign. He attended a trial with Championship high-flyers Leeds United in December.

The club statement continued: “In addition, the club knows that a number of its other young players are of interest to full-time professional clubs. This is good for the players and shows the club’s policy of developing young players is working, both via its academy and through prudent importation of young players that do no come direct from its academy source.

“(First team manager) Chris Agutter is of the opinion that there are a number of young players that have yet to make their first team debut that are not far away from being ready to do so, which is further evidence and encouragement to the club that on the development of player front, the future continues to look positive.”