Hill: ‘We’re not going to the Premier with the view of just making the numbers up.’

Manager Richard Hill receives his winners medal

Manager Richard Hill receives his winners medal


Eastleigh’s manager Richard Hill believes his side will not be going in to next seasons Conference Premier just to make the numbers up.

When asked where he would like to see his squad next season, Hill had no hesitation in stating that the team are looking to finish as high up in the league as they can, he said:

‘I’m not going to make any big bold statements, when I came to the football club, in my opinion there were already too many bold statements been made.

‘We’re not going to the Premier with the view of just making the numbers up.

‘We’ve got a lot of work to do over the summer, again we got to try and do good recruitment.

‘At the minute we will be trying to finish as high up in the league as we can.

‘I’ve said on many occasions, I have been quite critical of teams in the Conference South that have no aspirations.

‘The main aim at the start of the season is to finish as high in the league as you can but at the end of the season how many points you get determines how good you are and where you finish off.’

It’s very exciting times for the Stoneham Lane club that will now be playing just one league below league football.

When asked about the possibility of one day, the club being a football league club, Hill added:

‘I really don’t know, never say never when you see the likes of Crawley and AFC Wimbledon and how they gone up through as well.

‘But you need a lot of luck, a lot of money, good recruitment and again anything can happen.’

Like any newly promoted team, the Spitfires will need to invest in some new faces over the summer so they can compete with the top tier of non league football.

Hill continued to talk about strengthening his squad and said:

‘Yeah we will be, we’ve kept most of the players, now it’s just a case of being on the phone, speaking to a lot people and see what players have been let go by clubs and see if they fit our criteria.

‘My criteria for players is two things, they have to be a good player and a good person.

‘If we can match those two things up then we will have a decent squad.’

Hill will be familiar managing at Conference National level as he managed Stevenage Borough almost 15 years ago however he explains how it has changed over the years, he added:

‘The Conference National, when I managed Stevenage reminds me a lot of the Conference South so it just shows you how far the Conference National has come in that period of time.

‘It’s just nice to have started something and being able to take it to the next level.

‘It’s going to test myself and my philosophies of football and coaching to see if my philosophies do work at a higher level in that respect, I am quite looking forward to it.’

Finally the former Aston Villa and Queens Park Rangers assistant manager stated how he felt about the supporters of the club.

Eastleigh fans celebrating with players after winning the league

Eastleigh fans celebrating with players after winning the league (photo by Tony Smith)

He said:

‘The fans have been great. the fans are fantastic.

‘I’ve been critical of the fans and fans have been critical of me but that’s my job.

‘You have to take that but by the same token, I’m not the type of person that if I think some of the fans have been a little out of order towards me with the things they’ve said where I’m quite happy to say something back.

‘But that’s just all about the relationship, it’s like I’ve said the welcome I got in here after the Basingstoke game was something I’ve never witnessed before – it was actually amazing scenes.

‘For a group of people to show adulation to me like that was great.’