EASTLEIGH boss Richard Hill says his job this summer is “half manager, half salesman” as he bids to sell the club to potential new signings.
With the 13 core members of last season’s Skrill Conference South title-winning squad already signed up for 2014/15, Hill, pictured right, already knows he has the basis of a strong playing personnel to take into non-League’s top flight.
He is insistent that any new addition will have to tick two boxes – good player and good person – but he is aware that, as new kids on the Conference Premier block, Eastleigh will have a harder job winning players over than the likes of Bristol Rovers who have just dropped down from League Two.
“I spent an hour-and-a-half talking to a player the other day and telling him how great the football club and the chairman are and how we try to do things right at Eastleigh,” said Hill. “The players I’d like to bring here all have the option of another club – not a better club than Eastleigh, perhaps, but a more established one within the league we’re going into.
“The likes of Bristol Rovers and Forest Green haven’t got to sell the club to players, but Eastleigh is a new brand on the Conference Premier market and the players I talk to will need a bit of convincing, so I’ve got to make sure I say all the right things.
“And it’s not just Eastleigh, it’s me as well. I was an assistant manager who got a job as a manager and won promotion, but some players out there will never have heard of Richard Hill. That’s why I maybe need to utilise the players I’ve got to help sell the club.”
Although Hill is already speaking to potential new signings, he is prepared to bide his time if needs be.
“I’m not going to be held to ransom,” he said. “I still feel in six weeks’ time there will be quite a few players out there.
“I’ve got to be careful not to target anyone who isn’t better than we’ve already got and, let’s face it, it’s a hard act to follow.
“We shouldn’t just be talking about signing new players, we need to remember that we’ve already got the nucleus of a very good squad, all of whom have played Conference Premier or higher.”