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End of an era at Herne Bay as keeper Dan Eason departs for Hythe Town with Rob French signing for Simon Halsey's side

By Alex Hoad

Rob Frenchby Alex Hoad

Simon Halsey says Herne Bay are entering a new era after long-standing keeper Dan Eason left the club to join ambitious Hythe Town.

The Bay boss paid a glowing tribute to Eason who has opted to join the Ryman League, Division 1 South promotion-chasers.

Halsey said: "He’s been here five years and has won the supporters’ and manager’s player of the season three times. It is a big loss for us.

"The biggest surprise for me is that we managed to hold on to him for five years. Hythe were the first team to come in for him."

Halsey added: "It’s not about money, they can offer him the chance to play at a higher level quicker than we can, a better pitch to play on and better training facilities.

"We spoke about it for hours and he was in turmoil but I admire his honesty and am fully behind his decision."

Bay immediately signed former Whitstable and Faversham keeper Rob French (pictured) and Halsey said: "If ever there was a good time for Dan to go it was when Rob had just become available. They are both top keepers, two of the best in Kent.

"Rob’s got bags of experience, with a different skill set to Dan but it’s the start of a new era for us."

Bay visit Burgess Hill on Saturday and host Eastbourne on Wednesday, having taken just two points from their last eight league games, the latest being the 1-0 home loss to Chipstead on Saturday.

Do you think French can fill Eason's gloves at Winch's Field? Have your say below.

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