Agutter welcomes Hasler to Hastings: Attracting good players here is easy now
Hastings United unveiled goalscoring midfielder Sam Hasler as their latest signing - with manager Chris Agutter saying: It shows we’re a progressive club that good players want to join.
The 28-year-old has spent several seasons with Isthmian premier side Folkestone and Agutter is delighted to land another star from a higher level – just as he did when luring Worthing forward Lloyd Dawes to The Pilot Field a year ago. Hasler brings the number of first-team squad members signed for the 2021-22 to 16 – that’s 14 from last season who have rejoined and now two new faces.
The boss said he was ‘nearly done’ with his squad-building even though the new season’s start is more than two months away.
Agutter told the Observer: “I’m delighted Sam has signed. He’s been in the Isthmian premier team of the year and is a central midfielder who can play a holding or attacking midfield game.
“He’s predominantly left-footed and will fit perfectly into the way we play. He’s different to the other midfield players we have and will give us a great range of passing.
“He likes a long-range goal and I hope he can score plenty for us.”
Hasler caught Agutter’s eye when he inspired Ashford to victory over the U’s in 2019-20 – one of only two defeats they suffered.
He said it was no surprise players were happy to drop down a division to join Hastings – as the club had made it clear they were on their way to the Isthmian premier themselves.
“When I was first here it was difficult to attract players. Now it’s easy,” said Agutter. “We’ll be playing in front of big crowds and are a team who like to dominate games. It’s a nice experience for players.”
Hasler’s signing came days after United extended the contract of defender Craig Stone.
The former Gillingham, Ebbsfleet and Tonbridge man is extending his stay at The Pilot Field, combining his role as U23/U18s manager at Gillingham.
Hasler is Hastings’ second new recruit this term, having earlier signed Ryan Huckle from Leatherhead. Huckle can play anywhere in defence or as a holding midfielder.