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Club News

In Opposition: Eastleigh

23 June 2017

We continue our summer series looking at our opponents for 2017/18 and today's focus sees us make a trip to Hampshire.

Formed: 1946
Nickname:
The Spitfires
Colours:
Blue/White/Blue
Website:
www.eastleighfc.com

Who’s in charge?
Richard Hill is the man tasked with leading Eastleigh towards the EFL after he was given the green light to continue as full-time boss at The Silverlake Stadium in April.

He had previously been in charge at the club between 2012 and 2015 but returned in a role of Director of Football/caretaker boss in February following Martin Allen’s departure.

Hill’s last tenure at The Spitfires was hugely successful, as he guided them to the Conference South title in 2013/14 and then to the National League play-offs the following season.

How did they get on last season?
Eastleigh endured a pretty turbulent campaign during which they had four different managers – including former Pools boss Ronnie Moore.

They began the season with Chris Todd at the helm but he left in August after consecutive defeats and Moore arrived to oversee and upturn in league form and a decent FA Cup run.

However, the Scouser departed in December and Martin Allen left his post at Barnet to take over – but he lasted only 14 games as the team dropped from 9th to 15th.

A burst of wins during March was quickly undone by a poor finish to the season and the highly-ambitious Hampshire club will be hoping for much better during 2017/18.

When did we last meet?
Eastleigh are another of the teams who we will be meeting for the very first time during the 2017/18 campaign.

Where do they play?
The Silverlake Stadium is home to Eastleigh and has been since 1957 when they moved from Walnut Avenue. The capacity is 5,192 but the highest attendance was last January when 5,025 saw them take on Bolton Wanderers in the FA Cup Third Round.

When do we play them?
The National League fixtures are due to be released at 1pm on Wednesday 5th July.

Inside View
Mark Carruthers of NonLeagueDaily.com brings us his thoughts on Eastleigh ahead of the new campaign…

“I wrote a National League season preview for Four Four Two magazine this time last year and tipped Eastleigh as title winners… they finished fifteenth! 

“They were tipped to do well by many (honest!) but had a disjointed campaign with four different managers taking charge throughout the campaign, including former Pools boss Ronnie Moore.

“The last of those managers to take over in the Silverlands dugout was Richard Hill, and he will take charge of the club for the new campaign after spending time as their Director of Football.

“Hill provides stability and a good knowledge of the level.  In assistant manager Andy Hessenthaler he also has someone who has experienced life in the main role at Football League clubs like Gillingham and Leyton Orient.

“Their summer transfer business has seen more players depart than join the club, but the addition of former Bournemouth, Charlton Athletic and Portsmouth midfielder Danny Hollands will give them experience and drive in the middle of the park.

“A stable season, with little drama, could be in order but I think, with Hill and Hessenthaler in the dugout, they could be looking at a top-six finish.”


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