Derek Pope reveals key factor behind Lee Bradbury’s Havant & Waterlooville departure

Chairman Derek Pope believes the Hawks’ failure to implement a switch in training regime proved costly in their sole National League campaign.

By Lewis Mason
Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 5:55 pm
Updated Tuesday, 30th April 2019, 5:58 pm
Former Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture by Chris Moorhouse (020319-44)
Former Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture by Chris Moorhouse (020319-44)

And the club’s owner feels former boss Lee Bradbury paid the price after being unable to persuade his squad to make the change.

The former Pompey striker left by mutual consent in the aftermath of the Easter Monday defeat at Aldershot.

Pope and the board have wasted no time in finding his successor, appointing Paul Doswell on a three-year contract on Monday.

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Former Hawks boss Lee Bradbury. Picture by Chris Moorhouse (020319-44)

A major factor behind bringing the former Sutton manager to Westleigh Park is his plan to implement training three mornings a week next season.

It’s something the Hawks’ chairman has been keen to change for the past two years.

And Pope insisted not making the change earlier is a key reason why they will be playing in the National League South next term.

He said: ‘I don’t think Lee did a bad job last season.

‘He was let down by a few players, as well as losing a lot of players through injury.

‘We just wanted to finish fifth from bottom, we thought we were going to be around that area at one stage.

‘Lee wanted to do the three mornings a week, but the players would not give in.

‘They wanted to stick with what they were doing, that cost us a bit.

‘We have tried for the past two years (to make a change).

‘Unfortunately, Lee just could not get the players to do it with the contracts they were on.

‘We slipped through that for a couple of years.

‘I think Lee paid the price, really.

‘The players let him down.’

Doswell oversaw a switch in training regime during his 11-year stay at Sutton.

He introduced daytime sessions after a few seasons at Gander Green Lane.

And Pope is hopeful it can bring success to the Hawks as they prepare for a season back in the sixth tier of English football.

‘We discussed that the next manager coming in, we’d let him make his choice,’ Pope added.

‘When I spoke to Paul, it was clear he wanted to do the three mornings a week.

‘That is what we really wanted to push, now we’re going to see where it takes us.

‘His track record speaks for itself and he is a workaholic.

‘He’ll be doing the best he possibly can with the budget.’