Ray to stay on as a player?

John Maggs (right) and Terry White patrol the technical area during last weekend's 1-0 win at home to Ramsgate. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

John Maggs (right) and Terry White patrol the technical area during last weekend's 1-0 win at home to Ramsgate. Picture by Terry S. Blackman

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Hastings United manager John Maggs says it is not guaranteed that Sean Ray will stay at the football club as a player.

Ray resigned as player-manager back on August 7 and within hours had been contacted by other clubs about the possibility of joining them as a player.

The 32-year-old defender said at the time it was very doubtful he would stay at United as a player, but some posters on the supporters’ club website forum this week have suggested he will be adding to his 301 U’s appearances.

Maggs said: “There’s no confirmation as of yet. There are a lot of rumours going around that he’s back, but that’s not been underlined.

“I’ve got to be interested in a player of his calibre - I would be a mug not to. He’s a very, very good defender and you can count on him probably getting double figures a season in goals. No manager out there would turn that down, but he’s had this problem with his (knee) injury and he’s got to come back to train (which he was due to last night (Thursday)).

“Once he’s available to get some minutes on the pitch - which is going to take two or three weeks - he will probably have a game in the under-21s and then we will make our mind up, both me and Sean. Nothing’s totally confirmed at this stage.

“The two players I’ve seen at centre-back, Sean Kelly and Ben Judge, have done nothing wrong whatsoever. It’s not a question of Sean Ray back, in he goes. If these two keep performing - and I see no reason why they can’t - it’ll be very difficult for anyone to come in.”

Although pleased with the 1-0 win over Ramsgate in the FA Cup last weekend, Maggs says he is looking to strengthen a squad which lies second in Ryman Football League Division One South with 16 points from a possible 18.

“I’m happy with their performance against Ramsgate and on that performance I wouldn’t say it needs a massive turnaround of players,” he continued.

“What it does need is adding to the squad just to make us stronger and I’m already underway to deliver on that. It won’t happen overnight, but over the next two or three weeks hopefully you will see the squad strengthened.”