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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
  • VIEWS127733
Pauker: To be honest, no, I wouldn't. I would much rather see out this project with Havant, and at the least take them to the Premier League, before thinking about leaving.
We would be dissapointed otherwise! ;) #HavantForPremierLeague
TaroMisaki: Lets get it trending... #HavantForPremierLeague
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

Season Three: December and January

The two months of December and January are crucial months for any, and every club. A busy period, a challenging period, and a period which separates genuine promotion contenders from the teams that eventually fade away. It’s a time when players need to stand up and be counted, make a difference for their side, a real positive impact that could even set their team up for future success.


Game 1: vs Newport County (FA Cup 2nd Rnd)

Havant and Waterlooville 1 – 0 Newport County

Austin Lipman, 27’

Match Review
We controlled this FA Cup tie against our non-league opponents and were never in danger of conceding, but it proved to be just the single first half goal that took us into the next round. Generally a solid performance from a largely rotated side.

Game 2: vs Wycombe Wanderers (Sky Bet League 2)

Wycombe Wanderers 1 – 1 Havant and Waterlooville

Nathan Pond, 11’

Ben Holmes, 46’

Match Review
Against relegation threatened Wycombe, we really should have claimed the three points, but missed opportunities cost us. A point from an away game is never a bad thing, however these are the kind of teams we really should be beating, so it was a disappointing result for that matter.

Game 3: vs Burton Albion (Sky Bet League 2)

Burton Albion 2 – 2 Havant and Waterlooville

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 26’, 81’

Dominic Knowles, 33’

Phil Edwards (pen), 45+1’

Match Review
Akinfenwa managed to salvage a point for us in this one, with an equalizer late on, after a fairly sturdy display. The players worked really hard, and were a bit unlucky at times, so this certainly isn’t a game to be disheartened about.

Game 4: vs York City (Sky Bet League 2)

York City 1 – 3 Havant and Waterlooville

David Ball, 8’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 16’

Liam O’Neil, 45+2’

Austin Lipman, 83’

Match Review
In our third consecutive away game, we managed to record an impressive victory against a team which by all accounts, are doing really well this season. Again every player put in a good shift and we had the quality to match the work rate and win the game, which was great.

Game 5: vs Exeter City (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 4 – 1 Exeter City

Bradley Bubb, 34’

Callum Jones, 39’

Adebayo Akinfenwa, 52’

Nathan Pond, 70’

Danny Grainger, 87’

Match Review
Exeter were put to the sword in arguably our strongest performance of the season, a game full of flowing attacks that easily could have led to us scoring more goals. It was a shame not to keep a clean sheet, all in all though, a marvelous triumph.

Game 6: vs Tranmere Rovers (Sky Bet League 2)

Tranmere Rovers 2 – 1 Havant and Waterlooville

Benik Afobe, 25’, 76’

Austin Lipman, 82’

Match Review
Unfortunately though we couldn’t continue that momentum into the first game of 2017, as we slipped to a 2-1 defeat. Simply put, we weren’t at the races for this match, and rightfully lost to the better side on the day.

Game 7: vs Huddersfield (FA Cup 3rd Rnd)

Havant and Waterlooville 2 – 2 Huddersfield Town

Phillip Billing, 7’

Nahki Wells, 30’

Bradley Bubb, 34’, 90+2’

Phillip Billing, 78’

Match Review
The drama of the FA Cup struck again, as club captain Bradley Bubb smashed home a stoppage time equalizer, and earning us a second chance with a replay. Bubb led by example, rallying the rest of the side from two goals down, and bringing it back level with seconds to spare.

Game 8: vs Northampton Town (Sky Bet League 2)

Havant and Waterlooville 2 – 1 Northampton Town

Dean Rittenberg, 24’

Bradley Bubb, 29’, 38’

Match Review
Bradley Bubb shone again, this time in the league, as his brace defeated Northampton Town. For the most parts we were the better side anyway, so a 2-1 victory was the least we merited.

Game 9: vs Luton Town (Sky Bet League 2)

Luton Town 0 – 2 Havant and Waterlooville

Ian Morris, 35’

Daniel Pappoe, 43’

Match Review
We also managed to make amends for previous losses to Luton, who have been something of a ‘bogey team’ of ours, in the past. With both teams again battling for promotion, this was a crucial victory, made even better by the fact that it was on their own turf.

Game 10: vs Huddersfield (FA Cup 3rd Rnd Replay)

Huddersfield Town 2 – 3 Havant and Waterlooville

Rob Atkinson, 15’

Adam Hammill, 45+2’

Bradley Bubb, 52’

Therry Racon, 78’

Danny Ward, 90+3’

Match Review
The FA Cup Replay was just as enthralling as the first encounter with Huddersfield, resulting in pure ecstasy for our travelling supporters, as a spot in the 4th round was secured. A 3-2 victory and a brilliant showing from the lads was rewarded with a trip to Premier League side Sunderland.

Game 11: vs Sunderland (FA Cup 4th Rnd)

Sunderland 2 – 0 Havant and Waterlooville

Adam Johnson, 31’

Santiago Vergini, 89’

Match Review
Positives were a plenty in our cup game at the Stadium of Light, as although there was no giant killing, there was a lot of spirit from our team and a lot of defensive resilience too. Encouragingly it took a moment of magic from Adam Johnson, and a late header from Santiago Vergini for our goalkeeper to be beaten – in fact that is very encouraging, considering our defensive problems this season.

Game 12: vs Crewe Alexandra (Sky Bet League 2)

Devarn Green, 6’, 39’

Bradley Bubb, 19’, 71’, 77’

Ian Morris, 30’, 55’

James Baillie, 48’

Match Review
Back to league action, and we were back at home too, romping to a 5-3 success. Bubb was again magnificent, hitting an all-important hattrick, which effectively won us the game.

Game 13: vs Accrington Stanley (Sky Bet League 2)

*Eoin Doyle, 35’

James Pearson, 45’

James Pearson, 90+2’

Match Review
The final game of this two month period was a bit of a strange one. Eoin Doyle put us in front with his first goal for the club, and the match looked to be heading for a draw, having been levelled by James Pearson. In injury time step forwards Pearson again, but to the dismay of the Accrington Fans, he scored at the wrong end – three very welcome points for Havant.

League Table

With more than half of the 46 games in the league having been played now, Havant have cemented their place in the race for promotion. There is no fluke about the club’s current position, they are where they are on merit with some cracking results pushing the team up into 2nd, now 7 points behind the league leaders.

Player of the Update

Nathan Pond has been an absolute rock at the back in recent months, winning the ‘Player of the Update’ award, in addition to the Sky Bet League 2 Player of the Month trophy for December. Despite all the so called ‘defensive worries’, the team really haven’t been that bad at the back, with experienced central defender Pond proving to be a very important part of the Hawks side. He organizes the rest of the players so well, in the air he’s brilliant, often marks opposition strikers out of the game, and even chips in with goals – two, in this period.

Goal of the Update

Bradley Bubb wins the ‘Goal of the Update’ award for his vital goal in the FA Cup against Huddersfield, at the last stage of the game. With everybody pushed forwards, we were throwing everything we had at them, and it was Bubb who fired home with an emphatic volley. Akinfenwa did well to lay it into his path with a smart knockdown but credit to the captain for his finish.


Manager’s Comments;
A great run of form has seen us climb all the way up to 2nd in the league, an excellent achievement and an excellent set of results to put us in this position. Just the one loss in two months sums things up, with some terrific wins recorded, the 4-1 win over Exeter particularly springing to mind. Against Crewe we triumphed quite brilliantly, by 5 goals to 3, but an even more important win was away to Luton Town – one that the supporters enjoyed a lot, as well, considering past history.

Captain’s Comments;
We have really gone up a gear in the last two months, improving massively, both in terms of performance levels and the amount of points we are picking up. There were some really memorable games for the fans as well, especially the FA Cup tie, as is per usual with that competition. It was a shame that we couldn’t cause an upset against Sunderland, but they’re a quality side and showed that. For me personally, it was a good period, but it’s all about the team and maintaining our current position in the table.

NOTE: Just in case anybody’s wondering, the asterisk by the side of Eoin Doyle’s name is simply to indicate that he is one of our 8 January signings. All of them will be revealed in the next update, as well as the departures.

Last Update: Bradbury turns down three offers
Next Update: Season Three: Winter Transfer Window
You are absolutely storming through the leagues! Promotion looks very likely for you now and League 1 is not much different to League 2 in terms of quality. If you can keep hold of your key players and replace your fringe players with even more talented players, straight promotion to the Championship would not even be an unrealistic objective if you were to get promoted this season.
Justice: Haha, indeed we are. Also, you're very correct with your comment, there isn't much difference in the quality played in League 1 and League 2 and so we could very realistically challenge for another promotion - providing we hang on for promotion, this season. Exciting times for Havant!
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

Season Three: Winter Transfer Window

Transfers Out

With a fair few players discontent at a lack of game time, there was surprisingly a lot of transfer activity during January, no fewer than 6 squad members moving away from West Leigh Park.

Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz

Position: Goalkeeper
Age: 33 years old
Key Attributes: Reflexes, Determination, Eccentricity

The ageing shot stopper Jaimez-Ruiz was the first departure, and having been forced to sit on the bench for the entirety of the season, I can understand him wanting to leave. He was a good player in the Conference for us, and so the least that can be done is to thank him for his service to the club, as well as wish him all the best at Oldham.

Jerome Okimo

Position: Left Back
Age: 23 years old
Key Attributes: Pace, Acceleration, Stamina

Okimo was a player I was desperate to get rid of, as he was nowhere near to the standard of League 2 football, and was just a hindrance to our wage budget. He hadn’t played all season long anyway, so was just as happy to leave the club, for first team football.

Joe Oastler

Position: Right Back
Age: 26 years old
Key Attributes: Determination, Tackling, Marking

Oastler is another player who has had a lack of playing time for Havant, and is likely to leave come the end of the season. Bath have taken him on loan in the meantime, the Vanarama Conference more suited to his ability.

Austin Lipman

Position: Striker
Age: 21 years old
Key Attributes: Natural Fitness, Anticipation, Free Kick Taking

With Bubb and Akinfenwa ahead of him, as well as one of our new additions, Lipman doesn’t really have much of a chance of getting in our side. A loan deal will give him the opportunity to prove himself, but going from his goalscoring record while with us, he is also unlikely to earn a new deal.

Ashley Hemmings

Position: Winger
Age: 25 years old
Key Attributes: Flair, Agility, Pace

In a similar situation to Oastler and Lipman, finding himself way down in the pecking order, Ashley Hemmings has been loaned out ahead of a permanent exit in the summer. He should be a decent player for Hednesford, which says it all really – he’s not on our level, at all.

Ian Morris

Age: 29 years old
Position: Central Midfielder
Key Attributes: Long Throws, Composure, Determination

Having done a decent job even in League 2, I didn’t originally plan for Ian Morris to leave the club, but arrivals kind of forced me into this. With players in his position coming in, and already having the role of back-up, Morris wanted to go elsewhere – his contract eventually being mutually terminated.

Transfers In

Although the existing players had done an excellent job in the matches up to January, I felt that if we were going to sustain our automatic promotion challenge, we were going to need more quality in the squad. With the original target set at avoiding relegation, the board decided to give me more funds and increase the expectations, paving the way for new arrivals.

Eoin Doyle

Age: 28 years old
Position: Striker
Key Attributes: Work Rate, Teamwork, Natural Fitness

While Bradley Bubb and Adebayo Akinfenwa have been brilliant, we always needed another striker, to bring some diversity to this role. Eoin was a great candidate, with a decent goalscoring record, affordable wages and some solid looking attributes. Hopefully he can quickly settle in and give the other two attackers a real fight for a first team spot.

Alex Cisak

Age: 28 years old
Position: Goalkeeper
Key Attributes: Handling, Bravery, Jumping Reach

After the sale of Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz, a new goalkeeper was urgently needed. First off I set about searching for a player that wouldn’t mind being number two but soon found out that Alex Cisak was without a club, and snapped him up immediately to become my new number one. We have another good goalkeeper at the club in Lawrence Vigouroux however Cisak has that bit more quality and experience, which can even be beneficial to Vigouroux, in that the deputy will be able to be tutored by the first choice.

John Swift

Age: 21 years old
Position: Central Midfielder
Key Attributes: Natural Fitness, Bravery, Fitness

John Swift is probably the most pleasing transfer of the window, a player with bags of ability for this division, and even more potential. Still only 21 years old, he could become a key player for the club, hopefully he will stay here for many years to come.

Matthew Dolan

Age: 24 years old
Position: Central Midfielder
Key Attributes: Strength, Passing, Long Throws

Dolan, released by Bradford, is again a player who brings something different to the table. A more defensively minded central midfield player, he is always up for a battle, and gives us an extra competitive nature to our game.

Adil Chihi

Age: 28 years old
Position: Winger
Key Attributes: Dribbling, Technique, Flair

Playing in the Bundesliga for a lot of his career, Adil Chihi has a lot of pedigree, so I was really glad to bring him to Havant. Technically he is good, giving us more balance in midfield considering the amount of players we have who are more about their physicality. He didn’t cut it at Fulham, but has a point to prove for us.

Ricky Holmes

Age: 29 years old
Position: Winger
Key Attributes: Work Rate, Corners, Free Kick Taking

If I’m honest the signing of Holmes may have been a bit of a panic buy, and he may not have been the best of options, but he will still beef up our wide options, at least. A hard worker and dead ball specialist, he is a good player and although he is at the prime age of 29, should justify the fee paid.

Ben Purrington

Age: 20 years old
Position: Left Back
Key Attributes: Determination, Teamwork, Aggression

Danny Grainger was the only left back at the club, so clearly, we needed to bring in some cover in this position – Ben Purrington arriving on loan until the end of the season. He’s a player who we have come up against in the past when he was playing for Luton on a loan deal, and I’m sure he can do a decent job here, as well.

Jack Barmby

Age: 22 years old
Position: Winger
Key Attributes: Flair, Dribbling, Pace

As you may gather by the signing of three wingers during this window, this was an area I had targeted for improvement. The final signing was former Manchester United youngster Jack Barmby, a promising player with decent pace, dribbling and crossing ability, with plenty of promise too. He can play on either side but will be primarily used as a left midfielder.

Last Update: Season Three: December and January
Next Update: Havant's new midfield maestro?
Barmby could prove to be a good signing for you!
Some nice transactions there, hopefully they add to your promotion push!
Justice: Lets hope so, eh? He certainly has some promise about him, and being at United as a youngster, you would expect that. Even now he can perform as a key player for any League 2 side, showing that he will be an important part of our immediate plans as much as he is part of our future plans.

Walter: Agreed, I'm really excited by some of these signings, and believe they can make a strong impact in our push for promotion.
John Swift, Jack Barmby and Adil Chihi are some great signings for your team!
Promotion could be near!
2015-01-15 19:13#206191 Tallery :
2015-01-15 19:03#206189 pompeyblue : Tallery: lol, what? Currently we have 3 former Aldershot players in our squad; Bradley Bubb, Joe Oastler and Mikhael Jaimez-Ruiz.

Think I read it wrong :P, careless :P

and congrats on 400!
Did you even read the update?
TaroMisaki: Thank you, they definitely look like they have the ability to make a difference.

Josh: :))
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

Havant’s new midfield maestro?

Once hailed the next ‘Frank Lampard’, central midfielder John Swift has been presented with a great opportunity to shine at Havant & Waterlooville, having been set back by his release from Chelsea in the summer.

Still only 21 years old, his departure from Stamford Bridge, was slightly surprising. In recent years, he had been a standout player in Chelsea’s Academy, a tough task with such a plethora of high standard players. But Swift had consistently impressed and looked to be one player that could make that difficult leap into first team consideration.

Chelsea are an easy target for the common accusation that developing players might as well start looking elsewhere by the age of 21, because a combination of unlimited wealth and a demand for instant success means the pathway to the first team is blocked. However, it looked as if an exception would be made with Swift, having been handed a Premier League debut by Jose Mourinho, in the final game of the 2013/14 season against Cardiff City.

An unsuccessful loan spell at Rotherham followed during the 14/15 campaign, and that really seemed to hamper his progress, with no further first team appearances. Another crack at a loan deal never materialized either, as the Portsmouth born youngster didn’t have his contract renewed by the London club.

Swift has worked with Frank Lampard to sharpen aspects of his game and, in all honesty, there couldn’t have been anyone better for him to have learnt from. Swift, of course, has some way to go before he matches Frank’s achievements, but there are definite similarities in their incisive passing, long-range shooting and tireless running between the two boxes – comparable playing styles.

Only signing in January for The Hawks, who currently reside in 2nd place in the Sky Bet League 2 table, there is undoubtedly a big chance and challenge for him at his new club. Regular first team football will be an obvious benefit of stepping down to this level, although in his situation any football was welcome, but also the prospect of taking his new team up the divisions was one which attracted Swift.

The Englishman who has been capped for his country from U16 level to U20 level, will be relied on to control the middle of the park, providing spark with assists and goals. This is something he will be sure to thrive on though, and prove everyone he does have what it takes, to make it to the top. And this time, stay there.

Last Update: Season Three: Winter Transfer Window
Next Update: Season Three: February and March
A ...

Wait for it.



Swift transition in to the first team, ha! :P

In all seriousness, he has developed at one of England's finest academies, so he should prosper for you and be able to dictate the tempo of League 2 games.

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