Easton out to rebuild United Services

Matt Easton. Picture: Allan Hutchings
Matt Easton. Picture: Allan Hutchings
James Vince. Picture: Sarah Standing (170455-8793)

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United Services are keen to help restore some of the old glory to Hampshire’s former Portsmouth base.

The Burnaby Road venue hosted first-class cricket for more than a century until the club moved to the Ageas Bowl in 2000.

It remains a source of major disappointment for supporters in the eastern half of the county that they no longer see the cricketing greats on their doorstep.

The recent demise of United Services has seen them drop out of the Southern League and the subsequent loss of several key players saw them face relegation from Hampshire League division one last season.

But skipper Matt Easton is determined to get the famous old club back on a sure footing again and believes they are right on track.

Easton said: ‘We dropped out of the Southern League because we lost the accreditation for our colts.

‘We won’t be able to get back into the Southern League presently but it’s something we will look to do in the future.

‘Then last season, unfortunately, we got relegated.

‘We were competitive so we are looking to bounce back.

‘We have fantastic facilities and a good atmosphere.

‘We’ve also got a great venue.

‘It’s an ex-county ground with a good pitch and a full-time groundsman.

‘It feels like we are on the up again.

‘Even though we went down last year, the spirit and the attitude is really good.

‘We’ve got some good young blood coming through but we we would like to recruit some new players.’

The club, now in its 135th year, is open to servicemen and civilians.

Easton said: ‘It’s open to all servicemen and their families.

‘But it’s also a club that is in the heart of the Portsmouth community and open to those from outside the services as well.

‘The biggest stigma with the club is that everyone still assumes it’s only open to those from the services.

‘I’m not in the services and I’m the skipper of the first team.’

For more information on getting involved, contact Matt Easton on 07787 280371.