Hopkinson talks up new boy Jack

Hastings United manager Jason Hopkinson believes he has signed the best midfielder in the Ryman League.

The tough tackling Jack Walder is Hopkinson’s first capture of the summer as he seeks to build a squad capable of moving up the Premier Division table.

Hopkinson said: “In my opinion, Jack is the best midfielder in this league. He’s a wonderful player and he was my number one target. He’s strong, aggressive, very competitive and he can play. We’re very fortunate to get him.”

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Walder moves to The Pilot Field from Lewes where he was once part of the successful academy side coached by Hopkinson before making the step up to the senior squad at the start of the 2009-10 Conference South campaign.

The 21-year-old, who also spent time with Brighton & Hove Albion as a junior, was on contract at Lewes last year, but was sidelined for entire campaign following a knee ligament operation.

Hopkinson also shook hands with an un-named replacement for powerful midfielder Tim Olorunda on Tuesday and claims that Rhys Whyborne will be part of the squad. Several players from last season’s squad have signed, including Sam Adams and Sean Ray.

The full article will appear in tomorrow’s Hastings Observer.