Fareham aim to kick on after Stile-ish finale

Louis Castles. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160226-12)
Louis Castles. Picture: Paul Jacobs (160226-12)
Matt Tubbs. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Hawks boss eyes energy boost at Beavers

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Fareham Town manager Pete Stiles is determined to keep the feelgood factor going at Cams Alders after working wonders in the second half of last season.

When Stiles replaced Steve Stone just after Christmas, the Reds were marooned at the bottom of the Wessex League premier division.

Stiles brought in a whole new coaching team, a raft of players and helped the side regain their confidence.

Fareham finished the campaign 12th in the table, which was a remarkable achievement.

‘The club were at rock bottom,’ said Stiles.

‘We had to change things quickly and I had to quickly bring some new faces in.

‘Some of the players had accepted losing every week.

‘A couple of good results early on helped and we grew in confidence with every win we got.

‘Of the 18 games we had in charge, we ended up winning 11 and losing just three.

‘A lot of that was down to breeding a winning mentality.’

Except for Robbie Pitman, who has dual-signed with Gosport Borough, Stiles has managed to keep the bulk of last season’s squad.

He has also made a number of good acquisitions, with Louis Castles, Tony Easter and Tom Froggatt signing for the club.

Castles is an experienced wide player who has had spells at Bognor, the Hawks and AFC Portchester.

Last season he was at Baffins Milton Rovers but injury limited his appearances.

‘I’ve known Louis from his time at Portchester and he is quick and fit,’ said Stiles.

‘He is also an all-round nice bloke and will fit in well with us.

‘Louis is keen to play full-back, so we will give it a go and see what happens.

‘He has been working hard on his fitness all summer and hasn’t missed a training session .’

Forward Easter and centre-back Froggatt have made the short trip from AFC Portchester where they were unable to command a regular starting place.

Stiles is excited by the prospect of Easter lining up alongside Simon Woods.

‘They both have loads of goals in them,’ he added.

‘Another club came in with a big money offer for Simon but he is happy with us.’

Stiles has also brought in youngsters George Root, dual-signed with Aldershot Academy, and Miles Gibson.

An important addition for the new season is the return of a reserve team, which will play in the Wyvern Combination League.

Fareham open the season on Tuesday, August 1 with a Wessex League premier division derby against Horndean.

The following Saturday the Reds set off on the FA Cup trail with a tricky visit to Bashley.