FC Halifax Town travel down to face Eastleigh in the Vanarama National League in our next fixture.
Here we look at 10 things you may not have known about Eastleigh.
- Eastleigh was formed in 1946 and was originally called Swaythling Athletic. They wouldn’t be known as Eastleigh until 1980.
- They joined the Hampshire League in 1950 and following several strong performances, moved to Ten Acres in 1957. Ten Acres has been there home since and is now called the Silverlake Stadium.
- Eastleigh first won promotion to the National League in 2014 after beating Basingstoke Town 2-1 win in front of 1,500. They finished 4th in their first season but fell to Grimsby Town in the playoffs.
- Current manager Ben Strevens has made over 140 appearances for Eastleigh before being appointed permanent manager following a brief spell as caretaker manager.
- Eastleigh was without an official nickname until 2005 when the fans held a competition and Mark Wimbridge selected ‘Spitfires’. This is because Spitfires were built in Southampton and flown from Eastleigh Aerodrome.
- Following the choice of nickname, Eastleigh selected Sammy the Spitfire as their mascot. However, in 2015 Sammy was swapped for Brooksy the Bear in honour of club founder, Mr Derik Brooks.
- The Silverlake Stadium has seen work done on multiple occasions. Most recently the grandstand which housed 352 was extended to include an extra 550 to bring the grounds capacity up to 5,500.
- Eastleigh’s record attendance sits at 5025. Eastleigh faced Bolton Wanderers in the third round of the FA Cup. An own goal from Dorian Dervite and one from Darren Pratley forced the game to a replay. Eastleigh failed to pull off a shock result losing 3-2.
- During their early days, Eastleigh developed rivalries with Sholing Sports, Hamble, and A.F.C. Totton. A rivalry formed with Havant & Waterlooville when Ian Baird was appointed manager in 2007. They currently face Aldershot in the Hampshire Derby.
- Eastleigh have never reached the Football League and their highest finish remains their 4th placed finish during their first season in Non-League’s top flight back in 2014/15.
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