Brian Stock: Hawks team spirit is best I've experienced
BRIAN STOCK has heralded the spirit in the Hawks squad as the best he has ever experienced in his long career.
The midfielder joined the Hawks in 2014 after a long career in the Football League where he played nearly 400 games.
He has featured for Wales and had successful spells at Bournemouth, Doncaster Rovers and Burnley.
But he feels nothing previously has matched the togetherness at Westleigh Park this season.
In Stock’s eyes this was a huge factor in the Vanarama National League South title success.
He also believes it can help steer the club to a clean sweep of trophies.
The Hawks take on Fareham Town tonight at Cams Alders in the semi-finals of the Portsmouth Senior Cup.
The winners will meet AFC Portchester in the final at Fratton Park.
Stock wants to add this additional silverware to the Hampshire Senior Cup and league title already in the trophy cabinet for this season.
He said: ‘The team spirit here is unbelievable and the best I have ever had by a million miles.
‘It has been like it all season. I don’t think I will ever experience anything like this again.
‘Obviously I am 36-years-old now and had quite a number of seasons in football.
‘I can’t think of anything that comes close to this, even though this is the fifth time I have been promoted.
‘To win two successive league titles and promotions in a row is not just down to talent.
‘Team spirit is the biggest thing.’
The Hawks won the league in thrilling style by beating Concord Rangers 3-2 in front of a packed Westleigh Park on Saturday.
After forging a two-goal lead the home side then conceded twice in the second period.
It looked like the Hawks were going to let their promotion dream slip through their fingers.
With rivals Dartford winning at Bognor it appeared the Hawks would miss out.
That is when the spirit kicked in and they refused to give up.
Just when it looked all hope was lost that team togetherness came up trumps.
Theo Lewis picked out Jason Prior with an intelligent pass and the striker calmly slotted the ball wide of the goalkeeper and into the net.
Stock added: ‘We certainly didn’t do it the easy way. Our team is full of grafters.
‘Sometimes this year when there has been pressure we have stood up and been prepared to be counted.
‘Fair play at 2-2 we looked as though Dartford would nick it and we would go to the play-offs.
‘You just couldn’t write the finish it was unbelievable.’
HAWKS (from): Young, Dudzinski, Rose, Woodford, Harris, Molyneaux, Williams, Fogden, Lewis, Stock, Carter, Ridge, Whittingham,Tarbuck, Robinson, Prior, Tubbs, Rutherford, Hayter, Tuttle, Huggins, Strugnell