Eastleigh FC Bosses Looking Ahead Following Semi-Final Defeat
Eastleigh Football Club are already looking ahead to next season, following their play-off semi final exit against Salford City.
The Spitfires were one win away from their first appearance at Wembley Stadium, playing for the chance to earn promotion into the football league for the first time.
The Ammies’ defender Carl Piergianni gave Salford the lead on the brink of half-time, before the league’s joint top scorer Paul McCallum scored the equaliser for Eastleigh.
The game continued into extra-time, with multiple opportunities falling to both teams, but the game went all the way to a penalty shoot-out.
Despite Salford City’s top scorer Adam Rooney missing their first penalty, it was the hosts who went on to win the shoot-out 4-3, as Sam Matthews and Chris Zebrowski both had their penalties saved.
Speaking to the club after the game, Eastleigh boss Ben Strevens was still full of praise for his players, saying “they’ve [the fans] got really behind this group, it’s been tough for them the last couple of years and I think they’ve really seen what these boys have been trying to do for them, I know they’re proud of them and I’m proud of them as well.”
Eastleigh’s assistant general manager Tom Coffey was also positive following the defeat, saying “on reflection it’s been a positive season, we probably exceeded our expectations.
“It was always going to be gutting, not getting to the final and ultimately getting promoted, but it’s been a positive season, and a lot can be taken from it.”
Preperations for next season are already underway, as Coffey said “the planning has already started, contract negotiations and players for next season.
“We won’t settle for being just a mid-table side, prodding along.”