Thursday, 22 September 2011
After a fairly promising season last year, Eastleigh looked to be picking up where they left off during the pre-season period, losing only twice out of the nine warm-up matches. They also picked up a couple of notable wins agains a Reading and Southampton XI. However, after an eight place finish last year, missing out on the play-offs by only four points, the start to their seventh successive campaign in the Blue Square South looks slightly bleak, with only two wins from a possible ten. It is still early days, but the next ten or so games will be crucial in defining how the season will pan out for Eastleigh; will it be a relegation battle, or another push for promotion.
Eastleigh were relatively quiet in the transfer market this season, with the main moves being out with Shaun McCauley signing for local rivals Basingstoke on a one year deal. This being said, there have been some new arrivals at the Silverlake Stadium, in the shape of ex-Bristol Rovers Goalkeeper Mike Green and Winger Ryan O'hara who has played for the likes of Scottish outfit Dundee United and Forest Green Rovers. They have also recently extended the loan spell of Norwegian utility player Henrik Breimyr. He is a midfielder by trade but he has proved his worth by filling in at right-back a few times, including the best spell of the season so far for the Spitfires towards the end of August where they were unbeaten in three an recorded back-to-back wins against Dorchester and Weston-super-Mare. It is still unsure as to whether Breimyr will return to Aldershot Town after his loan spell, or sign on a permanent basi with Eastleigh.
This weekend brings an early season 'six-pointer' against fellow strugglers Staines Town, with home advantage, it is key that Eastleigh take this opportunity and build from here onwards if they want any chance of promotion this year.
Ones to watch:
Tom Jordan (Defender) - Captain Fantastic! had a great season last year, the rock of the Spitfires defence. Only Eastleigh player to make it into the leagues team of the year.
Jamie Slabber (Striker) - averages over a goal every two games, and seems like he could be key to the Spitfires promotion hopes this year.
Richard Gillespie (Striker) - has proven prolific for previous clubs, and finished top scorer for Eastleigh in the 2009/10 season, with only injury thwarting his efforts last year, as long as he keeps fit and injury free, his partnership with Slabber could prove priceless