Hawks to stage Pompey curtain raiser

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury, right, with his assistant Shaun Gale
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury, right, with his assistant Shaun Gale
  • For a sixth successive pre-season the Hawks host Pompey’s first fixture
  • Westleigh Park opener takes place on Saturday, July 11

THE NEW Pompey manager’s first fixture in charge will be at the Hawks.

The Blues are to maintain their recent tradition of kicking off their pre-season campaign at Westleigh Park.

That means facing Lee Bradbury’s side on Saturday, July 11, in a 3pm start.

And for the next incumbent of the Fratton Park hot seat, it represents the first opportunity to take charge of his side for a match.

The Blues have already announced a friendly fixture against Bognor on Friday, July 17.

That will be a 7.30pm kick-off – a marked departure from the Saturday afternoon pre-season fixture which has proven so popular over the past two seasons.

Completing the trio of local matches forming part of the summer programme will be a trip to Gosport Borough.

However, a date for that Privett Park visit has still to be confirmed.

With Fratton Park’s pitch undergoing work in the close season, no friendlies will be held there ahead of the 2015-16 season.

Instead, all fixtures will take place away from home, with further games currently in the process of being finalised.

Regardless, the curtain-raiser will once again take place at the Hawks as the hosts bid to bounce back from last weekend’s disappointment of losing in their Conference South play-off semi-final to Boreham Wood.

Last term, Andy Awford’s side secured a 4-0 victory, with Craig Westcarr grabbing two on his debut and Ryan Bird and Ricky Holmes also netting.

The previous summer under then-boss Guy Whittingham, the Blues ran out 5-0 winners through goals from Bird (two), Romain Padovani, Andy Barcham and a Ryan Woodford own goal.