Hawks salute ‘special’ Pompey friendship

The Hawks and Pompey clash in last year's pre-season friendly at Westleigh Park  Picture: Mick Young
The Hawks and Pompey clash in last year's pre-season friendly at Westleigh Park Picture: Mick Young

The Hawks have hailed their ‘special’ Pompey relationship as they prepare for the season’s traditional curtain raiser.

Paul Cook’s side visit Westleigh Park on Saturday (3pm) for their first summer friendly.

The fixture has established itself as a regular and popular event on the Blues’ calendar, attracting large attendances.

For the Hawks, it reflects a friendship strengthened when Pompey faced up to the possibility of liquidation at the start of 2013.

Nowadays the non-leaguers are allowed to keep all gate receipts from the annual encounter.

It represents a massive financial boost for the hosts, with this year’s prices of £15 for adults, £10 concessions and £5 for juniors including a free £3 programme.

And director Trevor Brock issued his thanks for the on-going partnership with their neighbours.

He said: ‘We have a fantastic relationship with Pompey and are so grateful for their continued support.

‘There are so many ways the clubs try to work together and we have already seen that this week.

‘On Tuesday, Paul Cook’s side came down to train at Westleigh Park – and we were only to pleased to accommodate them.

‘They needed a playing surface to use and with ours being the best it has ever been we readily agreed.

‘That shows our special relationship and we look forward to welcoming them again on Saturday.

‘By and large, our supporters are Pompey supporters and it is important we maintain the close bond between the clubs.

‘We offered our help when Pompey were in trouble, offering them our ground when it didn’t appear they would have one to play on.

‘That has been remembered by Iain (McInnes) and Mark (Catlin), who really appreciated that support in their time of need.

‘Since then they have allowed us all the gate receipts from these games, which is financially massive to our club.

‘It is an excellent boost to start the season with. At the end of the day, football is about resources – and this gives us a good kick-start for the season.

‘What’s more, on Saturday we will be announcing further good news regarding co-operation between the two clubs.’

Those attending Saturday’s game are advised not to park on grass verges or in streets near the ground as they are liable to receive tickets.