Bradbury hands blank canvas to Hawks troops

Lee Bradbury wants a quick lift for Hawks

Lee Bradbury wants a quick lift for Hawks

Lee Bradbury has led the Hawks to the Ryman League premier division title and promotion to National League South. Picture: Mick Young

Hawks clinch promotion as Borough are relegated

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NEW HAWKS manager Lee Bradbury has challenged his players to show how good they are in his first game in charge at Basingstoke Town (3pm).

The former Pompey striker has replaced former boss Stuart Ritchie who was sacked after just 10 games.

Bradbury accepts he is coming into a difficult situation but insists the Hawks have underachieved this season.

The 37-year old is relishing the challenge, even though the club currently sit second from bottom in the Blue Square Bet South.

Bradbury is determined to make a quick impact.

He will call on the experience gained from his time in charge of AFC Bournemouth in the Football League.

‘Basingstoke is a tough place to start but I am going into it with a clean sheet,’ said Bradbury.

‘I regard it as a blank canvas for the team and it is up to the players to show me what they are capable of.

‘In my four and a half years in the Army I had discipline installed into me and I expect the players to have similar expectations.

‘I had a fantastic 14 months in charge at Bournemouth during which time we got to the League One play-offs.

‘It was a really good experience and has given me the hunger and desire to be a successful manager.’

The Hawks head to The Camrose with just one win under their belt this term. Fragile confidence was knocked even further by an embarrassing FA Cup exit at Southern League minnows North Leigh.

The Hawks, however, have shown great resilience on their travels so far, drawing five of their six games on the road.

Bradbury is hoping his arrival can help spark a first away win of the season.

‘Obviously with just one training session there is a limited amount of impact I can have,’ said Bradbury.

‘Hopefully, I can use it to introduce some of my ideas and give the players a lift.

‘With a bit of confidence and direction I am sure we can soon start climbing the league.’

Bradbury recognises his experience of the non-league game is limited and, in an inspired move, he has named ex-Hawks manager Shaun Gale as his assistant.

Gale had previously been at Horndean, where he was helping out manager Dave Carter.

He knows the Blue Square Bet Premier and the players, and will have a key role to play.

Adie Aymes, who has done an admirable job holding the fort in the interim period, will resume his role as fitness coach.

Bradbury is forced into one definite change with goalkeeper Clark Masters suspended.

It hands youngster Dan Thomas the chance to step in.

Thomas broke his hand in pre-season but looks set to make his first appearance.

Full-back Chris Arthur remains an injury doubt.

HAWKS: Thomas, Newton, Page, Harris, Woodford, Ryan, Hinshelwood, Hutchinson, Bailey, Ramsey, Taggart, Roberts, Nanetti, Palmer, Moss, Jones, Kabba.

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