Havant & Waterlooville F.C.

Coordinates: 50°52′01.48″N 0°58′26.90″W / 50.8670778°N 0.9741389°W / 50.8670778; -0.9741389
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Havant & Waterlooville
Full nameHavant & Waterlooville Football Club
Nickname(s)The Hawks
Founded1998; 26 years ago (1998)
GroundWestleigh Park, Havant
Capacity5,300 (710 seated)
ChairmanDerek Pope
ManagerCliff de Gordon (caretaker)
LeagueNational League South
2022–23National League South, 10th of 24
WebsiteClub website
Current season

Havant & Waterlooville Football Club is a professional association football club based in Havant, Hampshire, England. The club participates in the National League South, the sixth level of English football, after relegation from the National League in the 2018–19 season. The club formed in 1998 after a merger between Havant Town and Waterlooville. Nicknamed "The Hawks", they play at Westleigh Park.


In 1998, Havant Town and Waterlooville merged to play at Havant Town's Westleigh 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.[1] During a 5-year stay in the Southern League Premier Division from 1999–2000 to 2004–05, 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 Jenkins and Daish being dismissed in January 2004. However, the club recovered and finished 12th in the Southern League Premier Division and thereby 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, the club 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.[2][3]

In the 2006–07 season, the Hawks qualified for the 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 which was played at Fratton Park.[4]

Baird resigned as manager on 1 October 2007 to become manager of Eastleigh and was replaced by Shaun Gale.[5] In the 2007–08 FA Cup, the Hawks beat Bognor Regis, Fleet Town, Leighton Town, Conference Premier team York City and League Two club Notts County,[6] before causing an even bigger upset by defeating League One side Swansea City 4–2 in a third round replay.[7] In the fourth round, they played Premier League Liverpool at Anfield and caused a sensation by leading twice before eventually losing 5–2.[8][9] 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,[10] but ultimately secured Conference South survival with three games remaining. 2008–09 did, however, see diverting runs in the FA Cup (ending with a first-round home defeat to League Two Brentford) and in the FA Trophy (ending with a 2–0 defeat away to York City in the quarter-finals).

In 2009–10, Havant & Waterlooville made a late run that almost got them to the playoffs but Woking pipped them to the post by one point.

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.[11]

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.[12] Assistant manager Steve Johnson and stadium manager/fitness coach Adrian Aymes were placed in charge on a caretaker basis.[13] In a tense finale, the Hawks avoided relegation with literally the last kick by a Havant & Waterlooville player in the entire season;[14] 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.[15] 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 later 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.

On 9 October 2012, Lee Bradbury was appointed manager.[16] leading the club to 10th place at the end of that 2012–13 season.

The 2013–14 season was an eventful one, with the club reaching the FA Trophy semi-finals, losing 3–1 on aggregate over two-legs against local rivals Gosport Borough. As a result of the Trophy run as well as weather-related postponements, the Hawks were required to play over half of their league campaign (22 games) within the final 57 days of the season.[17] Despite this the Hawks went into the final game of the season against Tonbridge Angels with a chance of making the play-offs. When the final whistle blew in that game, a 0–0 draw was enough, however in their match still on-going Dover Athletic scored a goal to mean that the Hawks would miss out on goal difference. In addition to the FA Trophy and Conference South disappointments, the Hawks also lost in the final of the Hampshire Senior Cup to Basingstoke Town 3-2 after extra time, despite battling back from a two-goal deficit to equalise in the final minute of injury time.

The Hawks went one better in their 2014-15 Conference South campaign, finishing 5th and making the playoffs. However, the Hawks lost 4–2 on aggregate to eventual winners Boreham Wood. During this season, the Hawks also made the first round proper of the FA Cup, losing eventually to League One side Preston North End.

Despite starting the 2015-16 Conference South season as favourites, the Hawks were relegated on goal difference. They did, however, win the Hampshire Senior Cup, beating Winchester City 5–3 on penalties[18] at St Mary's Stadium, Southampton.

Placed into the Isthmian League following relegation, the Havant & Waterlooville board kept faith with manager Lee Bradbury, who led the team to the title on the final day of the season. Trailing Bognor Regis Town by a point prior to the penultimate round of matches, the Hawks won 1–0 at home against their title rivals, in front of new league record crowd for the Hawks of 3,455.[19] This result meant the Hawks needed to win their final game at Kingstonian or match Bognor's result. The Hawks drew 0-0 but, despite leading 1–0 with 20 minutes left, Bognor could only draw at home to Metropolitan Police, allowing a sizeable contingent of travelling Hawks fans to watch their team collect the trophy as 2016-17 Isthmian League champions.

After being promoted the previous season, the Hawks won the 2017–18 National League South, winning it on the final day with a win against Concord Rangers where Jason Prior scored the 89th minute winning goal.[20] Prior was also the Hawk's leading scorer in their successful league campaign and the 5th top scorer in the league that season with 23 goals.

In the 2018–19 season, Havant & Waterlooville struggled to adjust to life in the National League and were relegated with three matches remaining. On 22 April 2019, Havant & Waterlooville released a statement confirming Lee Bradbury had left by mutual consent.[21] The next day, assistant manager Shaun Gale was appointed caretaker manager for their final two games of the season. On 29 April, it was announced that former Sutton United manager Paul Doswell had signed a three-year contract, bringing Ian Baird back to the club as his assistant.

In 2019–20 National League South the Hawks switched to morning training, three days a week.[22] As a result, the squad was transformed with only three players remaining from that which completed the previous season. The new look Hawks challenged at the top of the division until the season was curtailed in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. At first it appeared as though the League would only promote the leading club, given the circumstances. As the Hawks stood second in the division they, along with the similarly placed York City of the National League North, started the #promote2 campaign[23] for play-offs to take place or the second place club to be promoted. Eventually play-offs did take place but the club lost 2–1 to Dartford in their home semi-final.

On 10 March 2023, Paul Doswell moved into a Director of Football role, with Jamie Collins becoming manager. However after a poor start to the 2023–24 National League South season, Collins was sacked on 8 September. On 1 December 2023, Steve King was sacked. The 2023–24 season ended in relegation to the seventh tier.[24]


Due to managerial, player and administrative issues between the clubs, matches against Eastleigh F.C. Worthing F.C. and Weymouth F.C. have been particularly feisty in the past. The Hawks main rival however is usually considered to be Gosport Borough F.C..


Match at Westleigh Park

The club play at Westleigh 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 5,300, of which 710 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 record attendance for a league fixture was set on 17 April 2017, when 3,455[19] watched a penultimate 2016–17 Isthmian League fixture against Bognor Regis Town F.C., when the two clubs were placed first and second in the table. The club's record attendance for any home game is 5,793, for the FA Cup first round defeat to Millwall F.C. on 13 November 2006 they played at Portsmouth.

Current squad[edit]

As of 3 February 2024[25]

Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.

No. Pos. Nation Player
1 GK England ENG Ross Worner
2 DF England ENG Devante Stanley
3 DF England ENG Kai Innocent
5 DF England ENG Joe McNerney
6 DF England ENG Ben Morgan
7 MF England ENG Jake McCarthy
9 FW England ENG Ryan Seager
11 MF England ENG Billie Busari
12 DF England ENG Brendan Willson
No. Pos. Nation Player
14 MF Wales WAL Harry Jewitt-White (on loan from Portsmouth)
17 MF England ENG Jack Jebb (on loan from Dorking Wanderers)
19 DF France FRA Yoan Zouma (on loan at Poole Town)
20 FW England ENG Roarie Deacon
21 FW England ENG James Roberts
22 MF Wales WAL Sion Spence
23 FW England ENG Ethan Beckford
26 MF England ENG Billy Stedman
29 MF England ENG Leon Baker

Youth teams[edit]

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 left to join Gosport Borough, was the first player to be promoted from the academy team to the first team in the 2008–09 season.




Assistant Managers



(as at 20 January 2024)
Records for league and all cups, appearance totals are starting + substitute
*= still at club


  • England James Taylor – 297 (256+41)
  • England Dan Strugnell – 285 (255+30)
  • England Brett Poate – 276 (249+27)
  • England Wes Fogden- 274 (252+22)
  • England Ryan Woodford – 269 (228+41)
  • England Ed Harris – 249 (236+13)
  • England Neil Champion – 223 (196+27)
  • England Ryan Young – 222 (222+0)
  • England Steve Ramsey – 220 (168+52)
  • Guyana Jake Newton – 207 (198+9)
  • England Theo Lewis – 199 (145+54)
  • England Jamie Collins – 199 (174+25)
  • England Dean Blake – 196 (150+46)
  • England Tim Hambley – 191 (182+9)
  • England Ben Price – 188 (176+12)
  • England Paul Wood – 184 (158+26)
  • Wales Brian Stock – 183 (169+13)
  • Scotland Tom Jordan – 171 (169+2)
  • England Alfie Rutherford – 170 (99+71)
  • Republic of Ireland Liam Daish – 157 (156+1)
  • Cayman Islands Neil Sharp – 154 (147+7)
  • England Perry Ryan – 152 (130+22)


  • England Bradley Tarbuck – 148 (105+43)
  • England Paul Hinshelwood – 146 (127+19)
  • England Tony Taggart – 146 (111+35)
  • England Rory Williams – 145 (140+5)
  • England Rocky Baptiste – 145 (132+13)
  • Republic of Ireland Ian Simpemba – 143 (141+2)
  • England *Ross Worner – 134 (134+0)
  • England Sam Pearce – 131 (118+13)
  • England Andy Robinson – 130 (112+18)
  • Wales Ben Swallow – 130 (95+35)
  • England Nic Ciardini – 130 (97+33)
  • England *Jake McCarthy – 129 (123+6)
  • England Scott Donnelly – 128 (119+9)
  • England Luke Byles – 128 (111+17)
  • England Shaun Wilkinson – 128 (109+19)
  • England Neil Davis – 126 (100+26)
  • England Jamie O'Rourke – 125 (103+22)


  • England Jason Prior – 124 (110+14)
  • England Gareth Howells – 123 (118+5)
  • England Scott Jones – 120 (67+53)
  • England Shaun Gale – 118 (106+12)
  • England Chris Ferrett – 118 (98+20)
  • England *James Roberts - 117 (102+15)
  • Scotland Matt Paterson – 117 (77+40)
  • England Craig Watkins – 116 (63+53)
  • England David Town – 111 (91+20)
  • England Matt Jones – 110 (82+28)
  • England James Hayter – 108 (48+60)
  • Cayman Islands Alec Masson – 107 (104+3)
  • England Paul Nicholls – 105 (104+1)
  • England Gary MacDonald – 104 (102+2)
  • England Gary Connolly – 103 (85+18)
  • England Daniel Blanchett – 101 (78+23)
  • England Dave Wakefield – 100 (80+20)
  • England Craig Anstey – 100 (66+34)


(as at 20 January 2024)
Records for league and all cups, appearance totals are starting + substitute
*= still at club

  • Kenya Jonah Ayunga – 24
  • England Tommy Wright – 24
  • England Sahr Kabba – 23
  • England Dave Wakefield – 23
  • England *Jake McCarthy – 23
  • England Jamie Collins – 21
  • England Jason Lovell – 21
  • England Craig Watkins – 21
  • England JJ Hooper – 20
  • Italy Christian Nanetti – 20


England C^ internationals:

  • England James Taylor (2002)
  • England Tim Hambley (2002)
  • England Alfie Pavey (2018)

^ formerly 'England National Game XI'


Full internationals: (only those capped whilst at club shown)





  1. ^ Havant & Waterlooville at the Football Club History Database
  2. ^ King, Ian. "Reality bites". Twohundredpercent. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  3. ^ "Football Club History Database – Havant & Waterlooville". Fchd.info. Archived from the original on 11 October 2008. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  4. ^ "Havant & W 1–2 Millwall". BBC Sport. 13 November 2006. Archived from the original on 3 February 2008. Retrieved 11 November 2007.
  5. ^ Havant & Waterlooville.Net Club History (to July 2007) Archived 8 September 2005 at the Wayback Machine Havant & Waterlooville FC
  6. ^ "Notts County 0–1 Havant & W'ville". BBC Sport. 1 December 2007. Archived from the original on 3 December 2007. Retrieved 2 January 2008.
  7. ^ "Havant & W'looville 4–2 Swansea". BBC Sport. 16 January 2008. Archived from the original on 7 April 2008. Retrieved 17 January 2008.
  8. ^ "Havant take the glory but haves earn the prize". The Guardian. 27 January 2008. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  9. ^ "Liverpool 5–2 Havant & W: Reds' early scare". ESPN Soccernet. 26 January 2008. Archived from the original on 26 October 2012. Retrieved 24 June 2011.
  10. ^ "Match of the Week: Havant & Waterlooville 0–0 AFC Wimbledon". Twohundredpercent. 1 March 2009. Archived from the original on 3 March 2009. Retrieved 5 May 2009.
  11. ^ "Non-league Havant and Waterlooville play Real Betis". BBC Sport. 30 July 2011. Archived from the original on 17 March 2020. Retrieved 31 July 2011.
  12. ^ "Basingstoke defeat ends manager's four year tenure". havantandwaterlooville.net. 1 April 2012. Archived from the original on 25 May 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  13. ^ "Board to look outside club for "right man" to manage". havantandwaterlooville.net. 2 April 2012. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  14. ^ "Havant & Waterlooville 3 Staines Town 2". havantandwaterlooville.net. 28 April 2012. Archived from the original on 4 October 2015. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  15. ^ "Stuart Ritchie announced as new boss at Westleigh Park". havantandwaterlooville.net. 8 May 2012. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2012.
  16. ^ "Bradbury is new boss at Westleigh Park". havantandwaterlooville.co.uk. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 10 October 2012.
  17. ^ Self, Richard. "Fixtures and Results for First team: 2013/2014". havantandwaterlooville.net. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  18. ^ a b Wendy Gee. "Hampshire Senior Cup final agony for Winchester City FC (From Hampshire Chronicle)". Hampshirechronicle.co.uk. Archived from the original on 29 June 2016. Retrieved 1 May 2016.
  19. ^ a b "New attendance record". Havant & Waterlooville FC Official Site. Archived from the original on 25 April 2017. Retrieved 24 April 2017.
  20. ^ "Havant & Waterlooville FC History". havantandwaterloovillefc.co.uk. Archived from the original on 19 April 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  21. ^ "Havant & Waterlooville FC club statement: Lee Bradbury". Havant & Waterlooville FC. Havant & Waterlooville FC. Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  22. ^ Ricketts, Kevin. "Rory Williams set to join exodus at Havant & Waterlooville". The News. The News. Archived from the original on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 3 May 2019.
  23. ^ Carter, Simon. "Hawks director: National League U-turn on play-offs wouldn't have happened without power of social media". The News. The News. Archived from the original on 25 July 2020. Retrieved 19 June 2020.
  24. ^ @HWFCOfficial (10 April 2024). "Following tonight's results in the National South, our Relegation has been confirmed Everyone at Havant & Waterlooville FC wish to thank our loyal fans for their unwavering support this season in the good and the bad! We will be back, stronger! Up the Hawks 🤍💙 #HWFC #COYH" (Tweet). Retrieved 11 April 2024 – via Twitter.
  25. ^ "First-team". Havant & Waterlooville F.C. Retrieved 7 April 2023.
  26. ^ "Hawks lift Portsmouth Senior Cup – Portsmouth News". Portsmouth.co.uk. 13 April 2015. Archived from the original on 30 March 2016. Retrieved 19 March 2016.
  27. ^ "Hawks soar to league and cup double". havantandwaterloovillefc.co.uk. Retrieved 26 May 2017.

External links[edit]

50°52′01.48″N 0°58′26.90″W / 50.8670778°N 0.9741389°W / 50.8670778; -0.9741389