Maggs: ‘I did everything in my power to keep Pat’

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HORSHAM striker Pat Harding has left the club to join Whitehawk despite manager John Maggs’ best efforts to keep him.

Harding was the Hornets top scorer last term with 26 goals in what was his debut season but this year he has failed to rediscover his goal-scoring touch, netting just seven times and he joined the Ryman League One play-off hopefuls on Monday.

Maggs said: “Pat decided to go, I spoke to him on Sunday but he’s decided to move on to Whitehawk and the deal was finalised on Monday.

“I spoke to him again yesterday morning but he had made up his mind and for us it’s a sad day because I’ve got the utmost respect for him, not only for all his goals last season but for being the first one on the training field and always having a good attitude.

“OK it hasn’t happened for him this season, he hasn’t been able to score the goals and I think he’s probably been disappointed with himself but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.”

Maggs signed striker Jamie Brotherton at the end of last week and he said it had been a major factor in the former Eastbourne Borough man’s decision to leave.

“I didn’t want him to go and I said that to him,” Maggs said. “I said to him he’s still very much in my plans but he felt because I had signed another forward his chances would be limited, but that was not the case and he’s been involved in almost every game this season.”

As for why the goals had dried up Maggs said: “It’s difficult to know. Perhaps the team not being as strong this year means he had less chances but you have to remember he had that bad injury at the start of the season and I don’t think he’s been the same Pat Harding ever since.

“But he had the opportunity to join Whitehawk, I’m sure his personal terms are probably better then they were here. I wish him well and I hope he starts scoring goals again for them.”