Gary Elphick and Hastings United ready for the new season


Gary Elphick jokes that he and his brother Tommy are about to turn gray.

Gary is the boss of Hastings United who will be promoted to the first tier of the Isthmian League tomorrow after last season’s title win.

He is in daily contact with Tommy, who is a manager at newly promoted Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Hastings would like to repeat the start the Cherries made in beating Aston Villa last week.

But the brothers will exchange ideas afterwards, whatever happens.

Gary said: “We talk about football every day.

“Obviously it helps to have someone like that witnessing top-flight football.

“You never know, maybe one day we’ll work together!

“He loves life. He wants to be a manager one day and hopefully he will succeed.

“I think we’re going to have gray hairs soon, both of us!”

Hastings drew crowds last season and has a new stadium in the pipeline.

In June, approval was granted for a 1,950 seat venue at the Tilekiln Playing Fields, along with a gymnasium, car parks and two 3G playing fields.

Up to 86 new homes will be built at United’s current and longstanding base in the pilot field.

Elphick said: “It’s a new era, hopefully the stadium is coming in a couple of years and it’s the first promotion we’ve won in ten years.

“There’s a lot of excitement at the club, which is great.”

For now, however, all eyes are on Pilot Field.

Elphick said, “I think we’ll be fine.

“I’m not saying we’re going to win the league or anything, but I think we can hold our own.

“I think we can impress other sides and hope it will be a successful season.

“We tried to keep most of the guys together, which is the best thing that’s happened.

“But we added three or four players to the squad, mostly very offensive players.

“We also just signed a left-back.

“I think we had up to 2,500 spectators at times last season, which is really crazy at our level.

“Hopefully they’ll get out in numbers again and come behind us.

“It’s really a big help.”

TOMORROW (3 p.m.)

Vanarama National League South: Eastbourne Borough v Bath City, Welling v Worthing.

Isthmian Premier: Bognor – Hornchurch, Canvey Island – Horsham, Hastings United – Aveley, Wingate and Finchley – Lewes.

Isthmian South East: Burgess Hill – Ashford, East Grinstead – Chatham, Lancing – Beckenham, Sevenoaks – Three Bridges, Sheppey – Chichester, VCD Athletic – Haywards Heath, Whitehawk – Sittingbourne.

SCFL Premieres: AFC Uckfield – Hassocks, Alfold – Bexhill, Crawley Down Gatwick – Newhaven, Eastbourne United – Broadbridge Heath, Little Common – Loxwood, Midhurst – Eastbourne Town, Peacehaven – Lingfield, Roffey – AFC Varndeanians, Saltdean United – Horsham YMCA, Steyning town versus Crowborough.

SCFL Division 1: Billingshurst – Montpelier Villa, Chessington and Hook – Shoreham, Dorking Wanderers B – Selsey, Hailsham – Godalming, Mile Oak – Arundel, Oakwood – East Preston, Seaford – Epsom and Ewell, Wick – Worthing United. Gary Elphick and Hastings United ready for the new season

Fry Electronics Team

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