Hastings United boss delighted to appoint coach and snap up midfielder with huge potential

Hastings United have used a week without a match to good effect – confirming a new first-team lead coach and signing a midfielder they believe can have a huge impact.
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Ben Cornelius has been confirmed as a key man in Chris Agutter’s coaching staff, although Andrew Brown has opted for a role with Brighton & Hove Albion and will not be returning to the Pilot Field.

Agutter said he was delighted that Cornelius had signed up as first-team lead coach – and that former Chatham, Tonbridge and Ashford United midfielder Tommie Fagg had agreed a season-and-a-half-long deal.

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The boss said of Cornelius: “Ben is a hard-working, honest, conscientious man who has a really bright football brain.”

Tommie Fagg is Hastings United's latest recruit | Picture: HUFCTommie Fagg is Hastings United's latest recruit | Picture: HUFC
Tommie Fagg is Hastings United's latest recruit | Picture: HUFC

Agutter is also exicted to lure 6ft 5in versatile midfielder Fagg, saying he was his No1 target when he returned as Hastings manager six weeks ago.

"The right type of character, physically very impressive, and a very good technician, Tommie has all the ingredients to dominate at this level and a couple above,” he said.

Fagg is set to go straight into the side to face his previous club, second-placed Chatham, tomorrow when Hastings resume their Isthmian premier campaign in Kent.

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Also in contention is Adam Lovatt, back in the squad after injury – with Agutter saying a Hastings team without Lovatt is like a Manchester City team without Rodri.

The manager feels the squad is nearly as strong as it can be, adding: “We’re maybe one or two more players away from it being complete.”

After ten days with no game, things now get hectic for the Us with six of their next seven games away from home.

They go to Folkestone in the Velocity Trophy next Tuesday, then after what feels like a rare home game – against Bognor on December 16 – it’s Christmas and New Year on the road, with trips to Folkestone (Dec 26), Concord (30) and Cray (Jan 1).

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Agutter said: “We’re in a nice position in the league and we’re focusing on Chatham right now.

"I’m not surprised to see them second in the league. They have some very good players who’ve played at higher levels.”