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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
  • VIEWS127732
Pauker: Thanks for the comment, promotion is definitely a realistic ambition with some of the players we have, and the momentum from last season's results. It's not unusual to see clubs get back to back promotions up to the Championship. Also, Bond's managing a Venezuelan football club, so who cares if his cover is blown? :P

Neal: Cheers Neeealll, nice to see you keeping up the faith! ;)
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited

Season Three: Season Review

With the 2016/17 season now having reached its conclusion, it’s time to look back on another fantastic year for the Hawks, with the Young Player of the Season award, Player of the Season award and the Goal of the Season award all to be dished out.


The club’s first season in the Football League and the Sky Bet League 2, proved to be a wholly successful one. Not many people gave Havant a chance, they said League 2 would be a step too far for the team, but yet again they have proved the doubters wrong. With Lee Bradbury in charge Havant & W have always been a strong attacking side, 100 goals scored this season in a momentous campaign, resulting in promotion with a 2nd place finish. A run to the FA Cup 4th round was another major highlight, although the JPT and COC proved less memorable with defeat in our first matches. All in all though, a terrific year to look back on!

Final League Table

So, there it is, the final Sky Bet League 2 league table. Havant managed an incredible 2nd place finish in their inaugural season in the division, achieving promotion straight up to League 1. The Hawks amassed a grand total of 91 points, only 9 points behind the champions Doncaster, who were favourites to go up anyway – while Havant were one of the favourites for relegation.

Young Player of the Season

Summer recruit Liam Donnelly stunned supporters with some stellar defensive performances which have earned him the ‘Young Player of the Season’ accolade. Released by Fulham, it was at West Leigh Park where the 21 year old was handed the opportunity to prove himself, which he certainly did so. Although naturally a central defender, the position he is likely to move back into next season, Liam was asked to do a job as a right back for most of the season and to be fair to him, he did shine in this area. There’s still a lot of potential left in him however, and it would also be nice to see him prove as a threat in the opposition box, regardless it’s been a brilliant first season at the club for Liam.

Player of the Season

Who else, but Captain Fantastic? Yes, that’s right Bradley Bubb has won his third consecutive ‘Player of the Season’ award for the club. It was an even bigger step up for the striker, jumping into league football while taking on the responsibility of the armband, and again he proved his ability. When something magical was required, Bubb duly delivered, scoring 32 goals in all competitions as well as contributing 15 assists. Highlights include Bubb scoring Havant’s first ever goal in the FL, his incredible last second strike against Huddersfield in the FA Cup to set up a third round replay which would eventually be won, and his hattrick against Crewe. He is a proper Hawks icon.

Goal of the Season

Eoin Doyle grabs the ‘Goal of the Season’ award, his second goal of his hattrick against York City, gaining the plaudits. Collecting the ball around 30 yards away from goal, the 28 year old attacker quickly jinxed away from the defender before opening up his body and unleashing a ferocious striker into the top corner.

Last Update: Supporters laud Havant boss
Next Update: Akinfenwa heads list of departures
What a goal and a promotion to the Champ, brilliant!
Pauker: Thanks Pauks, although we've been promoted to League 1, not the Championship just yet... I like your ambition though! ;)
Why not just pass onto the Champ, then ;). Money is on you to make it to the Champ this season tho
Brilliant season, good luck in the Championship League 1! :D
Pauker: We'll certainly push for promotion, and you never know, we might just get there ;)

Feliks: Thank you :))
League 1 isn't that much more of a challenge to League 2, so promotion may be on the cards ;)
Next Stop: Championship!
Justice and TaroMisaki: Thanks guys, promotion to the Championship definitely isn't out of our reach, so here's hoping we can make it happen!
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited


35 year old Adebayo Akinfenwa was one of seven senior players who have been released from Havant and Waterlooville, following the expiration of their contracts, while three more squad members have been sold on to other clubs.

‘Bayo’ first joined the club in 2015, becoming a pivotal player in his two seasons at West Leigh Park, while forming a strong partnership with club captain Bradley Bubb. The former Northampton and AFC Wimbledon striker bagged 48 goals in 80 games, establishing himself as a fan favourite, and so his exit is likely to disappoint many supporters. But with his age against him now, and his struggling physical ability, the decision for the Hawks to let go one of the highest earners may prove to be a wise one.

Joining him are midfielders Therry Racon and Rashid Yussuff, winger Ashley Hemmings, defenders Daniel Pappoe and Joe Oastler, as well as fellow attacker Austin Lipman. Player sales have also occurred, defender Dan Strugnell and winger Chris Arthur making a double switch to Conference Premier outfit Dartford for a combined fee of £30k. Another defender, Rob Atkinson, made way to Ebbsfleet with £10k reaped from his outgoing.

While they were useful players in their time with Havant & W and some were even crucial to success of the past, the promotion to League One has rendered them ‘not required’ and not part of future plans due to their ability not quite up to the standard anymore.

Havant boss Lee Bradbury said, ”I’d like to thank all of the departing players for their service to this club and wish them every success for the future.”

Attention now turns to potential recruits and transfer targets for the 2017/18 season which is beginning to draw ever closer. With a large number of players leaving, Bradbury’s squad is looking slightly depleted and is in need of a boost with new additions. It’s surely only a matter of time before some fresh faces are welcomed into the fold.

Last Update: Season Three: Season Review
Next Update: Dynamic defensive pair sign on
Beast mode off? :(

As hard as it is, I bid farewell to Akinfenwa and his beastliness (and steroids). At 35 he was too old for this level of football and I'm sure a younger, more physically adept player will replace him in the starting line up! ;)
He's no Heskey anyway
Walter: You talk very wisely, Walt! ;)

Justice: True, true. He's nowhere near the same level as Heskey...
pompeyblue's avatar pompeyblue
9 yearsEdited


Havant and Waterlooville have confirmed their first two summer signings with former Portsmouth left back Dan Butler arriving on a free transfer and central defender Jake Cooper making a £20k switch from newly promoted Premier League side Reading.

After the partings of Daniel Pappoe, Joe Oastler, Dan Strugnell and Rob Atkinson around a week ago, The Hawks were down to just three senior defenders, on the books. Quite clearly reinforcements were imperative, and although there is more business to be done, the additions already look like impressive ones.

At the age of twenty-two and twenty-three, respectively, the duo still have the capacity to develop and nurture the ability they possess even at this moment in time. The strategy of drafting in young, English talent, some who may have failed elsewhere and are looking for a second opportunity, is a strategy which has been kicked into life by Lee Bradbury and his set of backroom staff.

You would only have to go back as far as January of last season to provide evidence of this particular policy, John Swift released by Chelsea and Jack Barmby released by Manchester United, handed chances with Havant. They repaid the faith though, with some eye catching displays going some way to helping the club secure promotion to League One.

Bournemouth have used the same transfer strategy in the past and continue to do so, although they were relegated from the Premier League last season in their first ever campaign in the top flight, they have been reaping the benefits from this policy.

The first summer signing Dan Butler came through the ranks at South Coast neighbors Portsmouth and made the breakthrough into the first team in 2012, going on to make 121 appearances for the club. He had been at the club since a boy, also enjoying loan spells with Aldershot and even his new club Havant & W. Much was expected and hoped for his future, Chelsea and Manchester City among some of the clubs to have taken an interest in his talents at different stages of his career.

But in more recent times Butler had been dislodged from his first team spot by Andrew Taylor, and was let go following the end of his contract, paving the way for his permanent move to West Leigh Park. The 23 year old is recognised as a very attacking minded full back, with his fitness particularly important in his ability to bomb up and down the line.

Fellow recruit Jake Cooper was likewise regarded highly by his previous club, Reading. The 6’4” centre half received call-ups to the England under-18s squad at one point but only ever made one appearance for The Royals’ first team – periods on loan at Southend, Colchester and Swindon Town providing him with his Football League experience.

Nevertheless some people still expected him to force his way into plans at the Madejski Stadium, but with the club’s promotion to the top flight, manager David Moyes deemed Cooper as surplus to requirements and a transfer worth £20k was arranged with Havant. Powerful in the air but assured with the ball at his feet, Cooper should fit right in with his new club and will look to establish himself as key player in the heart of The Hawks backline.

This is only the beginning of Havant’s activity when it comes to bringing in players, during the transfer window. The boss Bradbury is also rumoured to be interested a winger, another defender or two and a central midfielder. While the release of former fan favourite Adebayo Akinfenwa means that a new striker is almost a certainty, with the big hole brought about by him leaving, yet to be filled.

Last Update: Akinfenwa heads list of departures
Next Update: Havant snap up Smith

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