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The Hawks - Dare To Dream

Started on 22 October 2014 by pompeyblue
Latest Reply on 16 February 2015 by Walter
  • POSTS459
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When you perform as well as he does, you deserve the captaincy regardless of your Leadership attribute. Bubb leads by example.
Josh: Yes, he has. Will be interesting to see if he can make the step up to League 2 football, but going by his previous success, for sure he can!

Walter: He is going to be a massively important player and even more so as captain, you're right, everyone is behind him.

Feliks: Hear, hear.
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

Season Three: Pre-Season

There were only three scheduled games in pre-season for The Hawks, with the main focus in getting the players in shape for a new season, during our training sessions. The players were worked hard with a tough fitness regime, but all of them were as enthusiastic and hard working as ever – all of them anticipating the start of an exciting season for the club, in League 2. Games against Bayern Munich’s Reserves, Lierse and Chelmsford could potentially set Havant on their way.


Havant and Waterlooville 6 – 0 Bayern II

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 3’, 13’

Jerome Okimo, 53’

Austin Lipman, 69’

Therry Racon, 71’, 85’

Havant and Waterlooville 1 – 1 Lierse

Nick De Roover, 6’

Hugo Rauw, 32’

Chelmsford 2 – 4 Havant and Waterlooville

Austin Lipman, 7’, 16’

Fatia Adebayo, 21’

Joe Ward, 52’

Ian Morris, 56’

Bradley Bubb, 85’

Player of Pre-Season

Friendly games present the opportunity for many different players to stake their claim for a first team spot, and although he still has to prove himself capable of performing in League 2, Austin Lipman stood out – winning the ‘Player of Pre-Season’ award. In two starts and one substitute appearance, the former Arsenal youngster scored three goals while also laying on two assists, for his team mates. His dribbling and technique really caught the eye, but it remains to be seen whether he can handle the rough and tumble of football in England’s bottom tier.

Goal of Pre-Season

As well as coming out on top in the battle for the ‘Player of Pre-Season’ award, Austin Lipman claimed the ‘Goal of Pre-Season’ award. The 21 year old was given the opportunity to take a free kick early on in the game against non-league Chelmsford, and he certainly repaid the faith. From all of 25 yards out, Lipman smashed the ball into the back of the net, with the goalkeeper barely given time to move.

Manager’s Comments;
After the success of pre-season, we definitely have some momentum heading into the competitive games, in the new season. It was great to see the lads build up their fitness, as well as put in some assured displays, packed with goals. Confidence is flowing at the moment, but we know things will be tough in a new division, and are very aware of how competitive the league is. Regardless with our new signings, and the core of the promotion squad still in place, we’re hoping big things lie ahead for The Hawks.

Captain’s Comments;
It was an amazing experience for me to take the armband for the first time during pre-season, and hopefully I can help lead them to plenty of glory, in the future. There is certainly a buzz around the team at the moment and a really good atmosphere in the changing room, which will be really important as we go into league games. Everyone works hard for the team, and I think that is one of our biggest traits, also helped by the fact we have some quality players – so naturally we believe we can succeed. Myself and the rest of the squad can’t wait to get into action, playing in the Football League!

Last Update: Bubb named captain
Next Update: Sky Bet League 2 Season Preview: 2016/17
Nice result against Bayern! :)
A very good pre-season Josh! Lipman looks like a cracking player, let's hope he can show good form when it really matters!
Wow, absolutely rekt Bayern II! Well done Akinfenwa :P
basham97: Yeah, it was a great result for us, and a massive confidence booster! :)

Josh: To be honest I see Lipman as more of an impact player coming off the bench, as it will be very hard to take Bubb or Akinfenwa's place in the starting eleven, but hopefully he will prove his worth regardless.

Neal: Haha, indeed it was great work from the beast :P

Congrats on SOTM Joshie! Well deserved!
Great Pre-Season! You seem to start from where you left off, the last season!
Josh: Thanks a lot man. I love the GIF :P

TaroMisaki: Well, let's hope we can be just as successful as last season, too!
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

Sky Bet League 2 Season Preview: 2016/17

Only a week remains before the opening game of the 2016/17 season in the Sky Bet League 2, the 4th tier of English football. By its very nature as the lowest professional division in the country, the goings on in League Two are all too often an afterthought in the frantic world of English football. But at the bottom of the Football League you will find the very essence of our game - what League Two lacks in prestige it makes up for in its fluid, combustible and refreshingly English nature. From promotion hopefuls to those expecting a survival scrap, here’s what to expect in the upcoming campaign.

Promotion Challengers

MK Dons

Stadium: stadium:mk
Manager: Gianfranco Zola
Key Players: George Baldock, David Martin, Sammir Carruthers
Last Season: 23rd in League One (Relegated)
This Season’s Prediction: 1st

Despite not being able to save The Dons from relegation to League 2 from League 1, a manager of the pedigree of Gianfranco Zola is surely capable of guiding a team to promotion. With a strong squad at his disposal, boosted by summer signings such as Raheem Hanley and Paul Taylor, the media immediately put them down as title favourites. There is always the worry that the losing mentality of last season could carry over, but once again when you look at the players in the MK Dons dressing room you would think they have the mental strength to rid of those memories, as they certainly have the ability to create much more fond memories this season.


Stadium: The Keepmoat Stadium
Manager: Paolo Di Canio
Key Players: Luciano Becchio, Kyle Bennett, Axel Tuanzebe
Last Season: 22nd in League One (Relegated)
This Season’s Prediction: 2nd

Another relegated club ‘Donny’ will be looking for an immediate return to League One, with another Italian manager at the helm, Paolo Di Canio. Again he was unfortunate not to save them from the drop but irrespective of that, the former Swindon boss, has exactly the right attributes to do as required and lead them to promotion. His team is just as strong - boasting the perfect balance of youth and experience - there is certainly enough about them which would make you think they are an established side in the division above, at least. There is no reason why Rovers shouldn’t be back up the league come next May, and quite possibly they could achieve this in some style.

Crewe Alexandra

Stadium: The Alexandra Stadium
Manager: Paul Cox
Key Players: Armand Traore, Joao Teixeria, Stephen Gleeson
Last Season: 4th
This Season’s Prediction: 3rd

Crewe were exceptional in League Two last season, and were so unfortunate to miss out on an automatic promotion spot, losing out by 4 points. That meant The Railwaymen had to settle for a play-off position, but there was no joy of a trip to Wembley, as Paul Cox’s men were defeated in the Semi Final by the eventual winners Hartlepool. Nevertheless, the staff, squad and especially the fans will be aiming to use that pain to motivate them for another charge towards League One. The transfer recruitment only increased hope and expectation among the supporters, with the club able to attract the likes of former Premier League player Armand Traore and promising ex-Liverpool youngster Joao Teixeria.

York City

Stadium: The York Community Stadium
Manager: Nigel Worthington
Key Players:
Last Season: 21st in League One (Relegated)
This Season’s Prediction: 4th

The Minstermen dropped out of League One last season, but the board has kept confidence with the man who got them there in the first place, for the new season – the highly experienced Nigel Worthington. While the spine of the squad is still in place, there has been plenty of activity on Yorkshire this summer, with some proven players drafted in by the boss. That’s not to say young talent hasn’t been looked into, because that has to, with Samed Yesil, Jordan Lussey and Ryan Kent all coming in from giants Liverpool. Throw Jermaine Pennant into the mix, an ageing player with a lot to prove, and York are in with a serious chance of going up.

Luton Town

Stadium: Kenilworth Road
Manager: Gary Lowe
Key Players: Paul Connolly, Denzel Slager, Nathan Doyle
Last Season: 1st in the Vanarama Conference Premier (Promoted via league winners)
This Season’s Prediction: 5th

With the largest budget in the entire division, questions will be have to be asked if newly promoted Luton Town don’t put pressure on the top teams, this season. Having stormed to the Vanarama Conference Premier title last term to return to the Football League, confidence is flowing right now at Kenilworth Road, but they will have to be wary of the difficulties life in League 2 can cause. Matches tend to be very physical and competitive whereas most of The Hatters players are mainly more focused on being technically skilled and very quick – they will have to adjust quickly, that’s for sure.

Survival Battlers

Havant and Waterlooville

Stadium: West Leigh Park
Manager: Lee Bradbury
Key Players: Bradley Bubb, Adebayo Akinfenwa, Danny Grainger
Last Season: 2nd in the Vanarama Conference Premier (Promoted via play-off winners)
This Season’s Prediction: 21st

Another club with a lot of confidence after last season’s exploits in the FA Trophy and the league, is Havant and Waterlooville, who come into the professional divisions for the first time in the club’s history. With a promising, young manager and a hungry, determined squad, Hawks supporters are in a good mood and truly believe their team can be successful in League Two. However the media has already earmarked them to be one of the strugglers, even with some experienced signings that quite significantly bolster the ranks. It is most likely going to be a season of ups and downs for Havant.


Stadium: The Globe Arena
Manager: John Still
Key Players: Jack Redshaw, Ryan Edwards, Alfie Potter
Last Season: 20th
This Season’s Prediction: 22nd

Morecambe were on of the teams in the mire last season, finishing in 20th position, and are likely to be near the bottom of the league table again. Comings and goings have been a many, with an unsettled side and squad not doing anything but further damning an already tarnished mentality among the majority of senior players. Manager John Still is vastly experienced and has great know how of the division but even he might struggle to make-do with the limited finances and the mostly poor to mediocre players at his disposal.


Stadium: Whaddon Road
Manager: Keith Curle
Key Players: Terry Gornell, Charles Banya, Alex Smith
Last Season: 22nd
This Season’s Prediction: 23rd

Cheltenham survived relegation from the basement division, by the skin of their teeth, last season – finishing just a single point above the drop zone. It was a miserable time for The Robins, and don’t expect much to change despite a big change of squad players, which tends to be frequent in the lower leagues. The club, simply being, are stuck in a horrible rut and it’s hard to see how they can get out of it without falling in to non-league football.

Wycombe Wanderers

Stadium: Adams Park
Manager: Martin Scott
Key Players: Elliot Lee, Matt Ingram, Danny Williams
Last Season: 21st
This Season’s Prediction: 24th

It’s been a woeful past three seasons at Adams Park, with the bookmakers putting Wycombe odds on to be relegated and finish rock bottom. The 2013/14 season saw a 22nd place, and so did the following season, while last year there was a slight improvement with a finish in 21st position. Regardless, The Chairboys squad has League 2 quality in abundance. The likes of Janoi Donacien and Laste Dombaxe both formely of Spurs as youngsters, could quite easily walk into any other starting eleven in the division yet haven’t even been highlighted as some of the club’s key players. Strength in depth is there too, unlike previous years, so Wycombe although touted by many to go down could in fact be a surprise package for the season – then again it could go horribly wrong as initially thought.

That’s it for the predictions, but how do you think the season will pan out in the Sky Bet League 2? Leave your thoughts in the comments, below.

Last Update: Season Three: Pre-Season
Next Update: Season Three: August and September
Havant for promotion, f**k the media prediction! :P
Exceptional update Josh! And I agree with Feliks, Havant for promotion!
MK Dons and Doncaster are two big clubs, for league 2 anyway! Going to tough but sure you will be strong!
Feliks: Haha, hopefully we can make it happen! :P

Josh: Cheers Josh, it's going to be very tough though, make no mistake.

RD17: Thanks for the comment bud.

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