Lloyd Dawes has joined Hastings United as the club send another signal they are serious about winning promotion to the Isthmian Premier Division.
The former Worthng and Eastbourne Borough forward will bolster Chris Agutter’s attacking options and his signing is a further boost for fans already excited at the number of last season’s squad who have committed.
Dawes says he is ‘buzzing’ to have joined while Agutter and club CEO Billy Wood say the club have signed a matchwinner who will get fans off their seats.
It comes after most of last season’s squad sign on for another season, while the Us have also added ex-Dartford forward Max Walsh to the ranks.
Dawes was a regular in the Worthing side who were top of the Isthmian Premier before lockdown.
Like Hastings, Worthing were denied the chance of promotion by the FA’s decision to make the season null and void for non-league steps three and below.
Dawes was in his second spell at Woodside Road after two seasons at Eastbourne Borough in National South.
With an abundance of skill and pace and eye for a goal, Lloyd will help the Us complete their ‘unfinished business’ in the Isthmian south east.
Dawes said: “I’m buzzing to sign for Hastings United and looking for a new challenge at a really exciting club.
“Having played against the Us last season I know how good this team is and I cannot wait for the season to get started and play for all the supporters at The Pilot Field.”
Boss Agutter said: “This will be the third time I’ve tried to sign Dawesy so I guess third time lucky is a thing! There is no doubt that having Gary Elphick and Ben Pope with us helped bring Lloyd to the club, so this deal is as much down to them as it is to the coaching staff.
“The best way to describe this signing would be to say that we already had the cake, the icing and Dawesy is the cherry on top. We have signed a matchwinner who will get people off their seats. A big, big signing for us.”
CEO Wood added: “We have one goal for the 2020-21 season, we aren’t precious with it or afraid to lay out our expectations across the club.
“We have unfinished business after last season’s early finish curtailing what should have been a championship-winning season, and that motivation has led to the club having a very structured, precise and ultimately successful retention and recruitment process.
“We aren’t interested in the merry-go-round of players and Lloyd Dawes coming into this club has to be of the very highest quality to be an addition to a squad of winners, a squad that show the supporters they will leave it all on the pitch for the badge. Lloyd is an exciting player who I’ve had the pleasure of watching on a few occasions, and when this was presented it was a no-brainer.
“It is a clear indicator of the growing reputation of the club and our fantastic management team that a player who would’ve won the league above last season has decided to join our challenge.
“We hope you all welcome him to the club, bang that drum just a little louder and we march on to success.”