Kids take centre stage as Hastings United's plans step up another gear

It’s the turn of the juniors to take centre stage at Hastings United FC this weekend as the club works towards the start of the new season.

Friday, 24th July 2020, 8:00 am
HUFC are staging an academy open weekend

With an eye on the longer-term future, the club are holding academy open training sessions across at The Pilot Field for five to 15-year-olds as further age groups are added to their growing youth football set-up.

Also training this weekend will be the first-team squad, who can now get together in greater numbers following last weekend’s guidance from the government and the FA.

A number of first-team friendlies have been arranged for August - including participation in theWestfield FC tournament - and the Isthmian League is likely to start on Saturday, September 19.

Davide Rodari will be among first-team players helping coach the next generation this weekend / Picture: Scott White

Hastings United CEO Billy Wood said the timeframes being talked about felt right.

“It’s about what we were expecting,” said Wood. “Football has to come back in a safe manner but the timeframes fell like they have been throught through.

“We would love to have fans in for friendlies but that’s not going to be feasible. But playing friendlies and returning to something more like normal pre-season training allows the squad to prepare properly for the season.

“A top priority for us is to make sure The Pilot Field is ready and safe for when we can allow supporters in again.

“The guidelines seem to change regularly and we need to be aware of that, but I think we’re ahead of the eight-ball in terms of what we’re doing.”

For Saturday’s academy trials, boys and girls aged between five and 12 can be registered to take part in the open sessions which will be taken by UEFA and FA-licensed coaches and are asked to arrive before the start time of 10am. The session runs from 10am to 11.30am.

On Sunday boys and girls aged between 13 and 15 can register – with UEFA and FA-licensed coaches taking the sessions alongside some of Hastings United’s players including Academy graduate Davide Rodari.

Sunday’s activities, which will include a club presentation, will take place between 1.30pm and 4pm

The club said: “Hastings United Football Club are passionate about delivering football to all ages and with this expansion of the Academy age groups down to five year olds it shows their drive to be aligned with the Hastings community when it comes to delivering more for the children of the town.

“All level of abilities are welcome plus hot food and beverages will be available throughout both days.

“To register your child for one of the sessions please email [email protected] with your child’s age and name so they can be put into the right group on arrival.”