Bradbury longs to break new ground with Hawks

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Dave Haines
Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture: Dave Haines
Ryan Woodford has making 200 appearances for the Hawks. Picture: Keith Woodland

Woodford challenged to make 400 Hawks appearances

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Lee Bradbury put the finishing touches to his side’s Hampshire Senior Cup quarter-final preparations and declared: I’d love to be the first Hawks boss to lift the trophy.

Southern League south & west division outfit Sholing are the visitors to Westleigh Park for the last-eight tie.

Bradbury is keen to unleash his men after their past three fixtures fell foul of the weather.

And in a bid to get the match on, it has been delayed from tonight until tomorrow night (7.45pm).

Bradbury has revealed his players are champing at the bit to play – with a fierce battle expected.

And with Wycombe Wanderers loanee Jesse Kewley-Graham ineligible, there is extra incentive for his midfield rivals to grab the opportunity with both hands.

It all makes for a mouth-watering cup tie – one which Bradbury is determined to win as he bids to break new ground as Hawks boss.

The former Pompey striker said: ‘The club have been to the final a couple of times but never won it.

‘I’d love to be the first Hawks manager to lift the trophy.

‘Sholing will be tough, though, because they have some good individual players.

‘Their lad Lee Wort scores a lot of goals, so we must make sure we keep our backdoor shut.’

Kewley-Graham has yet to make his Hawks debut as weather has wrecked the start of his five-week loan.

Bradbury is looking forward to seeing him link up with the likes of Sahr Kabba, Ollie Palmer and Christian Nanetti in the final third.

But, in the meantime, he has called on his other midfielders to deliver the extra creativity his side have been lacking.

And the manager is looking forward to getting off the training ground and back into a competitive match.

‘Jesse is a fit lad who gets up and down the park and makes things happen,’ said Bradbury.

‘He is comfortable on the ball and, if he can link up with the likes of Nanetti, Kabba and Palmer, we will have a good force going forward.

‘The lad is not allowed to play in the cup, though, so I’ll be mixing and matching the team.

‘The players are chomping at the bit to play and this will give them the chance to work up a good sweat and get a good result at the same time.’

Midfielders Eddie Hutchinson, Stefan Bailey, Steve Ramsey and Perry Ryan are all fighting for their place in the starting line-up. With youngster Harvey Whyte sealing a permanent move to Ryman premier Bognor last week, the quartet are left to stake their claim ahead of the Blue Square Bet South clash at Dorchester on Saturday.

After a spell helping out at full-back, Ryan has impressed in the centre of the park. Bradbury has been encouraged by his hard work and willingness to learn – and reckons he will only get better.

Hutchinson brings other attributes to the table – his experience, leadership and never-say-die attitude a big plus for the former Bournemouth boss.

Meanwhile, Steve Ramsey and Stefan Bailey have struggled for consistency this term but have both shown glimpses of quality.