Hastings United are on the hunt for at least one new striker after the departure of last season’s leading scorer.
Kenny Pogue, who netted 17 times in 2013/14, has linked up with former United team-mates Matt Darby, Danny Ellis, Andy Henson and Sean Kelly at Eastbourne Town.
United assistant manager Ben White said: “Ken said he’s got extra work commitments and I think he was concerned as well about the competition for places.
“My view on it is we weren’t good enough last year and we need to create better competition for places to make sure we are good enough this year. When you do that you want to see players react in the right way.
“Some players will shirk the challenge and look for an easier option maybe, and some players like Sam Adams will come back for pre-season half a stone lighter and set a remarkable example to everybody in the first training session.”
United have retained the services of Frankie Sawyer despite interest from several other clubs and have brought in fellow forward Ade Olorunda over the summer. The versatile Adams is another option up-front.
White added: “Terry (White, United manager) is working hard to try and get at least one maybe two forwards in, but there’s a little opening now for the under-21s as well.”
Terry White said that United’s first week of pre-season training has gone well. All the new signings have been in attendance apart from midfielder Dave Cook, who only returned from holiday yesterday (Thursday).
“It’s gone very well,” said Terry White. “All of them have put the effort in and the levels of fitness have looked good. There’s no easy way to get fit and obviously it’s been predominantly running, but we’ve given them some time with the ball.
“I’ve had emails from various players and I’m working hard every day. Obviously I would like to fill it with a specialist right-back, but I’ve got the core of my squad which I want.”
United’s scheduled opening pre-season friendly away to Westfield on Saturday July 12 won’t go ahead as the pitch apparently isn’t ready and will be replaced by a game against Bexhill United at ARK William Parker Academy on the same day.
* HASTINGS United Supporters’ Club has two fundraising events coming up in the next month. First up is a return of the quiz night on Friday July 18 at a cost of £10 for a team of four.
That will be followed by Andy Thomas’ Tribute to Elvis on Friday August 1 when entrance is by donation to the supporters’ club. Full details of events are available on the supporters’ club’s revamped website.