Bradbury keen to expose Ebbsfleet pressure

Former Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Scott Bevan
Former Bristol Rovers goalkeeper Scott Bevan
Gosport's squad has been strengthened ahead of the Chesham match

Pike ‘getting closer’ to desired Gosport squad

Have your say

Hawks boss Lee Bradbury believes the pressure will be on hosts Ebbsfleet United for their season-opener next month.

The Westleigh Park side travel to the Kent outfit on Saturday, August 17, as the 2013-14 Blue Square Bet South season gets under way.

Ebbsfleet return to the division after suffering relegation from the Blue Square Bet Premier at the end of last term – and were within days of folding before a Kuwaiti consortium came to their rescue.

Since then, newly-appointed manager Steve Brown, who replaced ex-Hawks boss Liam Daish Stonebridge Road, has made it clear he wants an automatic return to the premier division.

And Bradbury believes his Hawks side can take advantage of those expectancy levels.

‘It is a tough start because Ebbsfleet are one of the favourites to win the league,’ said Bradbury.

‘They have signed a lot of good players so it will be a big test, but one we can look forward to.

‘It might not be a bad time to go there because there is a lot of expectancy at the club and the pressure will be on them to make a winning start.’

The Hawks will revert back to Monday nights for their midweek home fixtures and the first visitors to Westleigh Park are Hampshire rivals Farnborough on Monday, August 19.

Last season’s surprise package, Weston-super-Mare, travel to the south coast the following weekend (Saturday, August 24), before Hawks then renew their rivalry with Eastleigh at the Silverlake Stadium on August Bank Holiday Monday.

Those fixtures add to a tough start for Bradbury’s side but he remains optimistic of a positive start.

‘I am pleased with my squad with its good blend of youth and experience,’ he said.

‘A lot of money has been spent on the pitch and around the club so we feel in good shape for the coming season.’

The Hawks are still looking for a goalkeeper and will give a trial to ex-Bristol Rovers and Torquay goalkeeper Scott Bevan in their opening pre-season fixture against Wycombe Wanderers at Westleigh Park on Saturday.