Agutter: Plenty more will follow Pope in staying at Hastings
Ben Pope is the latest Hastings United start to commit to the club for another season – and more will follow suit in the next few weeks.
As we reported on Thursday, the No9 follows Tom Chalmers, Jack Dixon, Gary Elphick and Ollie Black in signing up for another campaign at The Pilot Field – to the delight of boss Chris Agutter.
“Ben’s another player who has been massive for us over the past couple of years and it’s fanatastic he’s happy to stay. He had a couple of clubs offering him more but wanted to stay,” the manager said.
“I did think there might be more movement this year with this team coming to the end of a cycle, but so far I’ve been delighted at how many are keen to stay with us. It shows the spirit we have.”
Hastings are already dreaming of making it third time lucky next season when they make a new bid for promotion from the Isthmian south east division. They have topped the table at the end of each of the past two unfinished terms.
Pope, who scored more than 30 goals over the 19-20 and 20-21 campaigns, will be vital to that bid.
Agutter said: “He’s an old-fashioned No9. He scores goals but gives us so much from his all-round play.
“I would expect many other players to be announced very soon as staying with us. In all about 14 have agreed to have another season with the club.”
There will also be an international scorer in the ranks – Knory Scott, who signed for United last year, was on target for Bermuda in a 4-0 World Cup qualifying win over Aruba on Tuesday.