Former Portsmouth favourites and ex-Bournemouth, Swindon and Ipswich figures to become free agents after their non-league release

Former Pompey favourites Brett Pitman and Danny Hollands are to leave Eastleigh this summer.

By Sam Cox
Tuesday, 17th May 2022, 1:39 pm

The National League side confirmed their retained list on Monday night and revealed the experienced duo are to depart the Silverlake Stadium at the end of the month.

For central-midfielder Hollands, it ends a five-year association with the Spitfires – which has seen the Fontwell-based player at the heart of play-off campaigns and relegation battles.

As for striker Pitman, it means a return to parent club Bristol Rovers for now, after he penned a short-term loan deal with the non-leaguers in January.

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Following a brief stint at Crewe, after leaving Pompey in 2016, 36-year-old Hollands returned to the south coast in 2017 as Eastleigh eyed promotion to the Football League.

Since then, he has made 167 appearances in blue and while, scoring 14 goals.

Hollands’ most memorable moment for Eastleigh came in May 2019, when he bagged an extra-time winner in the play-off quarter-final second leg against Wrexham.

However, his presence failed to instigate the move up to League Two many had hoped for.

Former Pompey duo Brett Pitman and Danny Hollands will leave Eastleigh this summer.

Indeed, the midfielder completed only 13 full league matches this term as Lee Bradbury’s team finished the season in 19th.

He made 94 appearances for Pompey, scoring seven goals, after initially arriving at Fratton Park on loan from Charlton.

Hollands’ frustrations this term would have been replicated by Pitman.

Announced as a big-named signing in February, he managed just one goal in 17 loan appearances as the former Blues skipper struggled to make the impact in front of goal he would have hoped for.

In fact, only eight of those outings came as starts, while he failed to come off the bench for Eastleigh’s final game of the season against Grimsby – a game that finished 4-4.

The 34-year-old’s contract at the Memorial Stadium is set to expire – although Joey Barton does have the option of extending his stay for another year.

Pitman scored 40 goals in 99 appearances for Pompey.

Amid the departures of the former Fratton favourites, Eastleigh boss Bradbury has opted to retain the services of former Blues triallist Jake Hesketh – despite a relatively underwhelming first season at the Silverlake Stadium.

The ex-Southampton man was expected to take the division by storm, but accumulated just five goals in 33 appearances in all competitions.