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Non League Football Under The Microscope

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Eastbourne Borough fans celebrate - August Bank Holiday Monday 2003                                Photograph by Sam Hicks

Eastleigh FC

The Silverlake Stadium, Stoneham Lane, Eastleigh, Hants SO50 9HT
Telephone: 02380 613361
Nickname: The Spitfires 
Conference South

Note Eastleigh FC in its present form came into being as recently as 1980, but the roots of the Club go back to May 1946 to the formation of Swaythling Athletic FC. The club’s most significant development came about in 1957 when it moved to the Ten Acres ground. A grandstand was erected in 1971 and a full floodlight system was unveiled in 1975. Following the name change to Eastleigh FC, the club became founder members of the Wessex League in 1986, and in recent years has proved itself one of the most progressive in Non League football. 

The Ten Acres ground – previously the Sparshatts Stadium, and now the Silverlake Stadium after the new sponsors – has been substantially developed, with a new stand opened in 2004.  The new cantilever stand, with its 348 seats, is steeply tiered and provides a superb view. It is undeniably impressive, but overall the ground lacks intimacy and, to my admitedly reactionary eyes at least, is somewhat bland. This is to some extent due to its open and exposed nature and, save for cover behind the top goal, it is as yet relatively undeveloped. The original clubhouse still stands at the near end and hopefully, the ground will gain more character in time.

Incidentally, the club’s new nickname is a reference to the Supermarine Type F37/34 Spitfire, which first flew on 5 March 1936. It was built at Woolston and assembled at Eastleigh (now Southampton International) Airport. DB