Hawks secretary Trevor Brock is already licking his lips in anticipation of next season’s Blue Square Bet South derbies with Gosport Borough.
Brock was at Vauxhall Road as Borough earned promotion with a penalty shootout success against Hemel Hempstead.
Although it means increased local competition for the Westleigh Park club, Brock insists there are benefits.
‘The best thing about it is it will give us our first real local derby for years,’ said Brock
‘We have had Eastleigh but we never looked forward to those games because of the ill-feeling between the two clubs.
‘In recent years we have played teams like Eastbourne and Lewes over the holiday periods and they can’t be considered as local derbies.
‘It’s different against Gosport and hopefully they will be looking forward to it as much as we are.
‘I will be hoping to get the games played over Christmas and new year when we could attract some big crowds.’
The Hawks secretary thoroughly enjoyed the drama of the Southern League premier division play-off final and felt Borough deserved to win.
The victory gave Gosport their second-successive promotion, through the play-offs, which is a remarkable achievement.
Brock is full of admiration for Borough’s rapid rise but added a note of caution.
‘Now the real hard work starts for Borough as a club,’ said the experienced administrator.
‘I am really pleased for them but it is a big step for the club off the field as much as on it.
‘The Conference will make a lot of extra demands upon them both administratively and financially.
‘Things that may have been done off the cuff in the past will have to be done differently.
‘Borough have got a decent squad which includes half-a-dozen ex-Hawks.
‘I am sure they will give it a good go and, in our eyes, are a welcome addition to the league.
‘I am just pleased for people like Mark Hook, John Stimpson, Brian Cosgrave, Mick Marsh and Mick Catlin who have been rewarded for all their hard work.’