Havant & Waterlooville F.C.
|Full name||Havant & Waterlooville Football Club|
|Ground||West Leigh Park, Havant|
|Capacity||5,250 (560 seated)|
|2013–14||Conference South, 6th|
Havant & Waterlooville Football Club is an English football club based in Havant, Hampshire. The club participates in the Conference South, the sixth tier of English football. The club formed in 1998 after a merger between Havant Town and Waterlooville. Nicknamed The Hawks, they play at West Leigh Park.
In 1998 Havant Town and Waterlooville merged to play at Havant Town's West Leigh Park ground. In their first season as a merged team, Havant & Waterlooville won the Southern League Southern Division under the management of former Crystal Palace and Portsmouth defender Billy Gilbert. There was also instant success in the FA Cup, a penalty shoot-out defeat to Hayes was all that denied the Hawks an opportunity to visit league side Mansfield Town in the first round proper.
After Billy Gilbert left Havant & Waterlooville, Mick Jenkins and Liam Daish were appointed joint managers in April 2000. Jenkins and Daish guided the Hawks to notable successes in the FA Cup where they reached the first round, the first of four occasions achieved by the club. In 2000–01, Havant & Waterlooville lost 2–1 at home to Southport of the Conference North, and 3–2 away to another Conference side, Dagenham & Redbridge in 2002–03. The 2002–03 season was also notable for the Hawks' FA Trophy run when Havant & Waterlooville 'giant-killed' Forest Green Rovers en route to the semi-final where Hawks lost 2–1 on aggregate to Tamworth. During a 5 year stay in the Premier Division, Havant & Waterlooville's best season came in 2001–02, finishing 3rd after leading the table during September. In the 2003–04 season the club struggled and this led to the pair being dismissed in January 2004. However the club recovered and finished 12th in the Southern League and qualified for a place in the re-structured Conference South.
Ian Baird took over the part-time managerial post at Havant & Waterlooville in November 2004. In 2005–06, Havant & Waterlooville missed out on a place in the end of season play-offs by a single point because of a controversial three-point deduction for breaking a gentleman's agreement with Weymouth that Havant & Waterlooville's ex-Weymouth player Tony Taggart would not play against his former club. Hawks manager Ian Baird claimed that an injury crisis had forced him to field Taggart in the home game with Weymouth.
In the 2006–07 season the Hawks qualified for the end-of-season promotion play-offs but were beaten in the semi-final by Braintree Town.The club met a Football League club in a competitive match for the first time in the 2006–07 competition, losing 2–1 to Millwall in a home match played at Fratton Park.
Baird resigned as Havant manager on 1 October 2007 to become manager of Eastleigh and was replaced by Shaun Gale. In the 2007–08 FA Cup, Hawks beat Bognor Regis, Fleet Town, Leighton Town, York City and Notts County, before causing a shock by defeating League One side Swansea City 4–2 in a third round replay. In the fourth round they played Premier League Liverpool at Anfield, and caused a sensation by leading twice before losing 5–2. Havant & Waterlooville player Alfie Potter, on loan at the time from Peterborough United, was voted player of the round.
The Hawks were involved in a relegation battle in the 2008–09 season despite being among the favourites to win the league at the start of the season, but ultimately secured Conference South survival with three games remaining. 2008–09 did, however, see diverting runs in the FA Cup, which ended with a first round home defeat to League Two Brentford and to the FA Trophy quarter final (2–0 defeat away to York City).
In July 2011, the club played a "once in a lifetime" game against La Liga side Real Betis, losing 7–0, after the Spanish club's original friendly opponents (Portsmouth) found themselves unable to play the game.
The 2011–12 season was a poor one for Havant & Waterlooville, and after dropping to second from bottom in the league following a defeat at Basingstoke Town, Shaun Gale was sacked on 1 April. Assistant manager Steve Johnson and stadium manager/fitness coach Adrian Aymes were placed in charge on a caretaker basis. In a tense finale, the Hawks avoided relegation with literally the last kick by a Havant & Waterlooville player in the entire season; Joe Dolan's 93rd minute winner in the final match against Staines Town ensuring that Maidenhead United (who believed themselves to be safe having scored a last minute winner themselves) would fill the final relegation spot.
On 8 May 2012, the Hawks appointed Stuart Ritchie as manager and Sean New as his assistant, the combination having been very successful in partnership during eight years at AFC Totton. Ritchie played 53 games for the Hawks in their first two seasons as a combined club (1998-2000). Sean New was replaced just 1 month after by Barry Blankley over a "failure to disclose particular information" scandal. Just ten games into his reign, Stuart Ritchie was sacked after just one win in those ten and a shock loss to Southern League South & West side North Leigh F.C. in the FA Cup.
The club play at West Leigh Park located on Bartons Triangle, Martins Road, West Leigh, Havant, PO9 5TH. It was home to Havant Town from 1982 onwards while Waterlooville F.C. played at the now extinct Jubilee Park. It currently has a capacity of 5,250, of which 526 is seated. The record attendance at the ground is 4,400, for the 4–2 third round FA Cup replay win against Swansea City on 16 January 2008. The club's record attendance for any home game is 5,793, for the FA Cup first round defeat to Millwall on 13 November 2006 played at Portsmouth F.C.
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Havant & Waterlooville now has an academy team for the club's most promising youth players, run in conjunction with South Downs College and playing in the Conference Academy League Southern Section. For the 2009/10 season this has increased to include two more reserve teams, playing in the Hampshire and Sussex College leagues. Nathan Ashmore, who has since gone on to join Gosport Borough, was the first player to be promoted from the academy team to the first team in the 2008–09 season.
- Billy Gilbert (June 1998 – April 2000)
- Mick Jenkins & Liam Daish (April 2000 – January 2004)
- Dave Leworthy (January 2004 – November 2004)
- Shaun Gale (November 2004) [caretaker]
- Ian Baird (November 2004 – October 2007)
- Shaun Gale (October 2007 – March 2012)
- Steve Johnson & Adrian Aymes (April 2012 - May 2012) [caretakers]
- Stuart Ritchie (May 2012 - September 2012)
- Adrian Aymes (September 2012 - October 2012) [caretaker]
- Lee Bradbury (October 2012 - date)
|This section does not cite any references or sources. (March 2014)|
(as at 14 May 2014)
Records for league and all cups, appearance totals are starting + substitute
Shown are all who have made more than 100 appearances, or scored more than 25 goals
*= still at club
England National Game XI^ internationals:
^ now 'England C'
(only those capped whilst at club shown)
- Fourth: (1) – 2007 (Play-Off Semi-Finalists)
- Third: (1) – 2002
- Champions: (1) – 1999
- Havant & Waterlooville at the Football Club History Database
- "Havant & W 1–2 Millwall". BBC Sport. 2006-11-13. Retrieved 2007-11-11.
- Havant & Waterlooville.Net Club History (to July 2007) Havant & Waterlooville FC
- "Notts County 0–1 Havant & W'ville". BBC Sport. 2007-12-01. Retrieved 2008-01-02.
- "Havant & W'looville 4–2 Swansea". BBC Sport. 2008-01-16. Retrieved 2008-01-17.
- "Havant take the glory but haves earn the prize". Guardian. 27 January 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- "Liverpool 5–2 Havant & W: Reds' early scare". ESPN Soccernet. 26 January 2008. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
- "Match Of The Week: Havant & Waterlooville 0–0 AFC Wimbledon". Twohundredpercent. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2009-05-05.
- "Non-league Havant and Waterlooville play Real Betis". BBC Sport. 30 July 2011. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
- "Basingstoke defeat ends manager’s four year tenure". havantandwaterlooville.net. 1 April 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "Board to look outside club for "right man" to manage". havantandwaterlooville.net. 2 April 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "Havant & Waterlooville 3 Staines Town 2". havantandwaterlooville.net. 28 April 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "Stuart Ritchie announced as new boss at Westleigh Park". havantandwaterlooville.net. 8 May 2012. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
- "Bradbury is new boss at Westleigh Park". havantandwaterlooville.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-10-10.
- Official Club website
- Havant & Leigh Park at the Football Club History Database
- Havant Town at the Football Club History Database
- Havant & Waterlooville at the Football Club History Database
- Waterlooville at the Football Club History Database
- YouTube Channel