Hastings United young guns fire in pre-season

Chairman and CEO Billy Wood has been delighted with the performances and contributions of Hastings United’s young guns during pre-season.

Youngsters Freddie Warren and new boy Freddie Legg have found the back of the net in the U's pre-season tune-ups.

And TWELVE players who have been a part of Hastings’ academy appeared in their 2-1 friendly win at Walton Casuals.

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Wood was quick to praise the U's hotshots and said he hoped their pre-season displays would lead to a welcome selection headache for first team manager Chris Agutter.

Freddie Legg is one of a number of Hastings United youngsters who have excelled in pre-season. Picture by Hastings United Football Club

He said: “Chris has created a culture around the club. When players come through, they know the way they play.

“They’ll all be given their opportunities. It’s not always gone to plan, and I’m sure people have seen that with the results.

“But fundamentally, the young lads have done very well. It’s what pre-season is all about.

“It’s quite exciting to see. For example, Freddie Warren, one of the academy prospects, went through the gears and got a goal.

“Freddie Legg has been fantastic in pre-season too. Lads like Jamal Lubanga, Harry Simmons, Harvey Greig, lads that have been part of the academy, have been getting their opportunities and taking it, and they’ll give Chris some headaches I’m sure.”

Wood wants the club’s younger players to look at the example set by midfielder Tom Chalmers.

Chalmers has committed his immediate future to Hastings and will be part of the first-team squad for the 2021-22 campaign.

He broke into the senior set-up in the 2019-20 season, making 13 appearances and scoring four goals, making his debut at just 17.

Wood added: “Tom Chalmers has been a great example. He’s come into the first team over the past couple of years.

“He’s 18, he’s come in and is probably one of the first names on the teamsheet. He is a bit like Sammy (Adams, Hastings United skipper) in the sense that he loves this club.

“Tom loves this football club, just like the club captain does, and that sort of mentality helps bring the fans and the town together.

“Hopefully these players want to stay here and go through the leagues with the club.”