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Eastleigh F.C.

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Nickname(s)  The Spitfires
Ground Capacity  5,192 (2,700 seated)
Website  Club home page
Manager  Martin Allen
League  National League
Ground  Ten Acres
2015–16  National League, 7th
Founded  1946
Arena/Stadium  Ten Acres
Eastleigh F.C. httpsuploadwikimediaorgwikipediaen33eEas

Full name  Eastleigh Football Club

Eastleigh Football Club is a professional association football club based in Eastleigh, Hampshire, England. The club currently competes in the National League, the fifth tier of English football, and plays its home matches at Ten Acres.


Formation to Wessex League (1946–1986)

The club was formed on 22 May 1946 by Derik Brooks and a group of friends in the Fleming Arms public house in Swaythling, Southampton and originally known as Swaythling Athletic, which then changed to Swaythling. The club began playing home matches firstly on Southampton Common and then at ‘Westfield’ in Swaythling. In 1950 they joined the Hampshire League. In keeping with their early progress, the club moved to a new ground at Ten Acres in 1957 – which remains their home to this day. In 1980 the club were renamed Eastleigh. Eastleigh were consistently one of the stronger teams in the top tier of the Hampshire League, Division One, in the early 1980s and they achieved their highest final position of 4th (three times: in 1982, 1984 and 1985.) Their first match in the FA Cup was a 2–1 success against Southern League side Poole Town in 1981. They went on to beat Melksham Town in the next round before succumbing 2–4 to another Southern League side, Dorchester Town.

Wessex League (1986–2002)

In 1986 they were accepted as one of the founding members of the Wessex League and managed an 8th-place finish in their first season in 1986–1987. Eastleigh F.C. didn't manage a top seven finish until the 1995–96 season when a 4th-place finish was achieved, the first of six consecutive top-seven finishes. Paul Doswell joined the club in 2002 as manager and oversaw three successive promotions.

Rise up the leagues (2002–2005)

In 2002–03 they won the Wessex League and were promoted to Division One East of the Southern League. After finishing fourth in their first season, the club were promoted due to the formation of the Conference North and South taking clubs from the division above, and were transferred into the Premier Division of the Isthmian League.

The club finished third in its first season in the Premier Division, qualifying for the promotion play-offs. After beating Braintree Town 2–0 in the semi-final, they were promoted to the Conference South after a 2–1 victory over Leyton in the final. The club also won the Russell Cotes cup, beating Gosport Borough 3–1 in the final.

Conference South (2005–2014)

Eastleigh's first game in the Conference South was a 1–0 defeat to Hayes. Eastleigh finished their first season in the Conference South in a creditable eighth place. They narrowly missed out on a play-off place in the 2007–08 season coming sixth after a final day defeat at Thurrock (4–1). In 2008–09, they finished third, but lost to Hayes & Yeading United in the play-off semi-finals despite holding a 4–0 advantage at one stage during the first leg. In the 2009–10 season, Eastleigh reached the first round of the FA Cup for the first time narrowly losing to Barrow (2–1).

The ownership of the club changed in late 2011. On 26 November 2011, following a meeting of the board, it was announced that an offer from Bridle Insurance Limited for the majority shareholding of the club had been recommended for acceptance by the current shareholders. Bridle Insurance were then the primary sponsors of Oxford United. The company, based in Witney, Oxfordshire, is known for providing financial backing to Glen Hoddle's football academies. Chief executive Stewart Donald and chief operations officer Neil Fox would both come on to the Eastleigh board as directors, with Paul Murray remaining as chairman. Part of Bridle's five-year plan for the club was to get the ground up to league standard, by looking at financing a 7,500 all-seater stadium, and to get the club into the Football League.

The takeover by Bridle Insurance was eventually confirmed when the club announced the company had acquired the club's shares on 1 February 2012. Later, on 9 February, Director of Football Dave Malone, who had joined the club in May 2006, stood down from his post.

On 23 March 2012, chairman Paul Murray stood down from his post. Murray had formally stood down as chairman when the club was sold to Bridle Insurance, but had remained at the club in a non-executive chairman role. Mick Geddes was later appointed as his successor.

On 16 May 2012, Eastleigh won their first silverware for seven years, beating Totton 2–0 in the final of the Hampshire Senior Cup.

On Tuesday 11 September 2012, following three successive league defeats, the last 4–0 away to newly promoted side Billericay Town, the club announced, following a meeting between manager Ian Baird and Stewart Donald, that it had been agreed that Ian Baird would leave the club with immediate effect. Baird's replacement was announced the following day as ex-Stevenage Borough manager Richard Hill. Hill has also had spells assisting John Gregory at both Wycombe Wanderers and QPR, and Brian Little at Aston Villa. He has also been employed as assistant manager at Gillingham, Tranmere Rovers and Northampton Town.

Eastleigh came close to achieving promotion to the Conference Premier for the first time during the 2012–13 season, by making the Conference South play-offs through finishing 4th in the league. After initially losing the first leg of the semi-final against Dover Athletic at home 3–1, Eastleigh overturned this with a 2–0 away win in the second leg, so the match went to penalties, with Eastleigh losing 4–2. Eastleigh won the Conference South in 2013–14, sealing the title in front of a crowd of over 1,500 on 18 April 2014 when they beat Basingstoke Town 2–1 and achieved promotion to the Conference Premier for the first time in the club's history for the 2014–15 season.

Conference Premier / National League (2014–)

Eastleigh's first game in the Conference Premier was a 3–0 victory at Nuneaton Town. Their second game was their first ever live televised game on BT Sport; Eastleigh beat Aldershot Town 1–0 with an injury-time winning goal. The 2014–15 season also saw Eastleigh's second appearance in the FA Cup 1st round proper, where they reached the second round for the first time, beating Lincoln City in the first round with a last-minute goal. Eastleigh lost 2–1 at Southport in their first ever FA Cup second-round fixture. Eastleigh spent their entire first season in the top half of the league and enjoyed an unbeaten run at home until into the new year. As home form dipped their away form soared, the club picking up victories at Braintree, Chester and most notably Bristol Rovers, whom they beat 2–1. Eastleigh featured again on television with a convincing 4–0 home win over Macclesfield. Eastleigh eventually secured a 4th-place finish after five consecutive wins culminating in a 2–1 win at home to Kidderminster in front of a record crowd of 4,024. The playoffs proved a bridge too far for Eastleigh, who were beaten 2–1 at the Silverlake Stadium and 3–0 at Blundell Park by Grimsby Town to lose 5–1 on aggregate.

After a run of just 1 point from 5 games, on 23 September 2015, Richard Hill resigned as Eastleigh manager. Chris Todd was quickly appointed caretaker manager, and after 3 victories from 4 matches he was confirmed as the new manager on 15 October 2015. Eastleigh had a fine run of form under Todd and rose to 3rd place in the league table by Christmas. Meanwhile, the club was gaining national coverage for its FA Cup exploits. Eastleigh travelled to Crewe in the 1st round and achieved their first ever giant killing, courtesy of a 1–0 win with a Ben Strevens penalty. In the second round, Eastleigh won 2–0 at minnow Stourbridge to record their first ever appearance in the Third round. On 9 January, Eastleigh drew 1–1 with Bolton. The game took place after much speculation it would be postponed, and sold out giving Eastleigh a new record attendance of 5,025. Ten days later Eastleigh travelled to Bolton and lost 3–2, having led 1–0 through a Joe Partington strike. As Eastleigh exited the FA Cup, league form dipped and they eventually finished 7th, missing out on a playoff place.

After just four games of the 2016–17 season, with Eastleigh languishing in 16th place, Chris Todd was relieved of his duties as Eastleigh manager. Ronnie Moore was appointed and enjoyed an unbeaten run to start his time at Eastleigh. On 4 October, Eastleigh beat Maidstone 3–0 to move up to 5th in the league after offering free admission for all, which attracted a crowd of 4,114.


Eastleigh moved to Ten Acres in 1957 from their previous ground, Walnut Avenue. The club's record attendance is 5,025 for an FA Cup third round match against Bolton Wanderers on 9 January 2016.

In 1976 floodlights were added to Ten Acres.

In 2004, following promotion to the Ryman Premier League, the old wooden stand was knocked down, and a new 352-seat grandstand was built on the half-way line stretching for just under a third of the pitch. Behind the motorway end hard standing was hard pitchside standing with a cover: this was named the Silverlake Stand. In 2006, the roof was widened across the Silverlake Stand to cover the whole width of the pitch.

Until 2006, the area opposite the grandstand was just hard standing backing into tall fir trees. During the summer of 2006, a metal back and roof were added, along with an electronic scoreboard on the roof of the Premier Telecom stand.

In 2009, 150 seats were added to the middle of the Silverlake Stand to give Eastleigh the necessary ground grading to compete in the Conference South play-offs.

The ground was, again, extensively redeveloped during 2014. New pitch-side fencing was installed following damage to the previous fencing during Eastleigh's championship winning game against Basingstoke. The former East Stand at Sandy Park (home of Exeter Chiefs RFC) was rebuilt along the Premier Telecom side of the ground as well as behind the clubhouse goal, providing a covered terraced accommodation for 2,000 spectators. On 2 December 2014, the newly completed 2,290-seater South Stand was opened for the first time in a Conference Premier game against Dartford, with the club allowing spectators in for free to celebrate the occasion.

The clubhouse goal has been affectionately named the "shed end" and is where most vocal home fans congregate.

Club colours, nickname and mascot

Eastleigh's colours are blue and white. They play in predominantly blue shirts with a white trim. They have white shorts and blue socks.

The club were without an official nickname until 2005 when a competition was run amongst the fans and "Spitfires" was chosen by supporter Mike Wimbridge. The Spitfire aeroplane was built in Southampton and first flown from Eastleigh Aerodrome, now Southampton Airport.

After the club gained its official nickname the club had an irregular mascot, Sammy the Spitfire, who was a dog. However, in 2015 a new mascot was selected, Brooksy the Bear, in honour of Mr Derik Brooks, who founded the club in 1946.


In Eastleigh's earlier Wessex League days they had rivalries with Sholing Sports, Hamble as well as a continued rivalry with A.F.C. Totton, who beat them 2–1 in the Wessex League cup final in the 2002–2003 season. As Eastleigh rose through the leagues their main rivals became Salisbury City whom they enjoyed a 4–0 victory over in the 2003–04 season. They have also had a rivalry with Havant & Waterlooville in recent years, largely sparked by the appointment of Ian Baird as Eastleigh manager in 2007.

As Eastleigh joined the Conference it lost any league games to teams within a radius of 40 miles, but regularly contested the Hampshire Derby with Aldershot Town.

Former players

Amongst the players who have played for Eastleigh and went on to play in The Football League are:

  • Will Aimson
  • Mark Marshall
  • Aaron Martin
  • Damian Scannell
  • Brett Williams
  • Anton Robinson
  • Harry Pell
  • Jamie Turley
  • Josh Payne
  • Joe Partington
  • Luke Coulson
  • Mikael Mandron
  • Bondz N'Gala
  • Ryan Bird
  • Andy Drury
  • Current squad

    As of 28 February 2017.

    Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

    Out on loan

    Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

    Non-playing staff

    According to Club website
  • Chairman Stewart Donald
  • Chief Executive / Finance Director Mark Jewell
  • Directors Stewart Donald, Mick Geddes, Pete Vickery, Mark Jewell, Mick Budny, Alan Harding, Allen Prebble
  • Vice-Chairmen Mick Budny, Alan Harding, Allen Prebble
  • Life President Derik Brooks
  • First Team Manager Richard Hill (Caretaker Manager)
  • Assistant Manager James Russell
  • First Team Coach Not Confirmed
  • First Team Performance Analyst Ross Cracknell
  • Head of Youth Development Lee Peacock
  • Academy Manager Luke Hardy
  • First Team Physiotherapist Andy Cook
  • Notable managers

    As of 21:14, 06 March 2017

    (Up to and including match vs York City on 4 March 2017)
    (Above stats include matches in the League, Play-Offs and all rounds in the FA Cup, FA Trophy, Hampshire Senior Cup and Conference League Cup)

    League and cup history

    Earlier records can be found at

    Last Updated: 21:01, 03 May 2015

    a: Moved to Isthmian Premier League after Non-League System restructuring

    PR = Preliminary Round; Q = Qualifying Round; R = Round Proper; P = Position; Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; GF = Goals for; GA = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points

    Previous seasons

  • 2012–13 Eastleigh F.C. season
  • Club records

  • Top Goalscorer – Andy Forbes – 146
  • (as at 15.00, 28 April 2012)

    Most appearances

    Competitive matches only. As of 16 October 2012


  • Conference South
  • Conference South champions: 2013–14
  • Wessex League
  • Premier Division champions: 2002–03
  • Hampshire League
  • Division Two champions: 1967–70
  • Division Three champions: 1950–51, 1953–54
  • Southampton Senior League (West)
  • Champions: 1949–50
  • Russell Cotes Cup
  • Winners: 2005
  • Runner up: 2006
  • Hampshire Intermediate Cup
  • Winners: 1951
  • Hampshire Midweek Floodlit Cup
  • Winners: 1979
  • Hampshire Senior Cup
  • Winners: 2012
  • Wessex League Cup
  • Runners up: 2002–03
  • References

    Eastleigh F.C. Wikipedia