Grey hairs will be worth it for the Elphicks as Gary and Hastings make step up

·3-min read
Hastings United boss Gary Elphick and how the club's new home will loo
Hastings United boss Gary Elphick and how the club's new home will loo

Gary Elphick jokes he and his brother Tommy will be getting a few grey hairs soon.

But both the former Albion defenders are relishing the challenge of management.

Gary is boss of the Hastings United side who step up into Isthmian League premier division tomorrow after title success last season.

He is in daily contact with Tommy, who has a coaching role at newly-promoted Bournemouth in the Premier League.

Hastings would love to match the start the Cherries made in beating Aston Villa last week.

But the brothers will exchange notes afterwards whatever happens.

Gary said: “We speak every day about football.

“It’s obviously helpful having someone like that, who is witnessing elite football.

“You never know, we might work together one day!

“He’s loving life. He wants to be a manager one day and hopefully he can achieve that as well.

“I think we will be getting grey hairs soon, both of us!”

Hastings attracted big crowds last season and have a new stadium in the pipeline.

Permission was granted in June for a 1,950 capacity venue at the Tilekiln Playing Fields, together with a sports hall, parking and two 3G pitches.

Up to 86 new homes will be built on United’s current, and long-time, base at the Pilot Field.

Elphick said: “It’s a new era with the stadium coming along hopefully in a few years and it’s the first promotion we’ve gained in ten years.

“There’s a lot or excitement around the club, which is great.”

For the time being, though, all eyes are on Pilot Field.

Elphick said: “I think we’ll be okay.

“I’m not saying we are going to be winning the league or anything like that but I think we can hold our own.

“I think we can make some sort of impression on other sides and hopefully it will be a successful season.

“We have tried to keep the main bulk of the lads together, which is the best thing that has happened.

“But we have added three or four players to the squad, mainly very attacking players.

“We’ve also just signed a left-back.

“I think we got crowds of up to 2,500 at one point last season, which is crazy really at our level.

“Hopefully they will come out in their numbers again and get behind us.

“It really is a massive help.”

TOMORROW (3pm)

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

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

Isthmian south-east: Burgess Hill v Ashford, East Grinstead v Chatham, Lancing v Beckenham, Sevenoaks v Three Bridges, Sheppey v Chichester, VCD Athletic v Haywards Heath, Whitehawk v Sittingbourne.

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

SCFL division one: Billingshurst v Montpelier Villa, Chessington and Hook v Shoreham, Dorking Wanderers B v Selsey, Hailsham v Godalming, Mile Oak v Arundel, Oakwood v East Preston, Seaford v Epsom and Ewell, Wick v Worthing United.