Havant open their National One South challenge against Oxted at Havant College on Sunday (2pm) conscious that they will be featuring in a far stronger competition than the West Conference, which they won last season.
Oxted, for instance, won the East Conference in 2017/18 and narrowly missed out on promotion to the Premier Division last term, finishing runners-up to Old Georgians.
Youngsters Ethan Hoddle [pictured] and Jack Stubbings have left the area to attend university, but Havant have been busy in the player recruitment stakes, attracting –
• Argentine striker Manuel Silvetti
• Jakob Janicki, a Polish international defender
• Joe Barber, from Southampton
• James Morris from Exeter-based ISCA.
Also joining the squad are Fin Carvalho, Connor Lasrado and Morgan Sturt, who have progressed through the club’s junior section. “Interestingly, Morgan is the first player to come from our Coaching in the Community programme,” says president Chris Pickett.
“Jon Keynes, our Community Coach, converted Morgan from football.”
Atiq Arshad, who played for the club in the last few league games last season and the Premier League play-offs will be returning, but not until the end of October after Pakistan play the Netherlands in an Olympic Qualifier.
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