Hawks' traditional friendly with Portsmouth set for return this summer - and a capacity crowd could be in attendance

Hawks are in the process of finalising details as they prepare to welcome Pompey back to Westleigh Park for a pre-season friendly this summer.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 6:32 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 6:45 pm
Hawks and Pompey face off in a friendly at Westleigh Park in July 2019. Picture: Dave Haines/Portsmouth News

The club have been in contact with Blues chief executive Mark Catlin this week with a view to setting a date for the fixture in early July.

Hawks, who are still waiting for FA ratification over the null and voiding of their National League South season, are already beginning to plan for the 2021/22 campaign.

And they are hoping a capacity crowd will be able to attend the marquee Pompey friendly after being unable to host Kenny Jackett’s side last summer as work continued on installing their 3G surface at Westleigh Park.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Under the government's roadmap to easing coronavirus restrictions, limits on the number of supporters entering stadiums are set to be lifted from June 21.

That would mean Westleigh Park would likely be full to watch Hawks and Pompey face off in a friendly.

It would certainly mark a bright beginning to the new campaign for both clubs who have been forced to play the majority of matches behind closed doors this term.

Hawks boss Paul Doswell said: ‘We’ve spoke to Mark Catlin this week and it’s all in play.

‘Our first game is always Portsmouth and that’s brilliant now because we’ll have a full crowd for the Pompey game in July.

‘We’re sort of gearing up for that being our first big game back which you couldn’t get a better game then Portsmouth first team, hopefully on the back of them getting promoted, it’ll be brilliant.

‘It’s going to be early July again so it’ll be one of our first games at home and I think the whole season then is back with a bang.’

That could be Hawks’ first fixture for a number of months with their National League South campaign deemed null and void.

However, Pompey have the small matter of fighting to achieve promotion to the Championship between now and May before they even begin to think about next season.

But with very little to look forward to from a football view point between now and July, Hawks boss Doswell ‘can’t wait’ to welcome the Blues to Westleigh Park.

He said: ‘I’m really excited about next season. I’m excited that on June 21 all restrictions are lifted and I’m excited to know that in the first week or two in July we’ll have a packed out Westleigh Park for the Pompey game, which is always packed out.

‘It’s a great chance for us to celebrate coming back with supporters and I can’t wait, I literally can’t wait.’