Eastleigh FC All Time Best XI by Steve Wright
Having watched Eastleigh for around 17 years here’s my best Eastleigh squad based on the level they were playing at for the club.
Collin Matthews at the time was a Wessex league record signing for Eastleigh from Newport IOW for the sum of £10,000. Matthews was an incredible keeper, during the Wessex league winning season only 32 goals were conceded in 42 games. The 6ft 5 keeper was dominant in his box and despite being that tall his shot stopping was incredible. No question, the best keeper I’ve seen in an Eastleigh shirt.
Phil Warner previously with Southampton was a solid full back during our 2003-2004 Southern League season. Phil had a bit of pace and with his experience he proved to be a very decent player for Eastleigh, certainly one of Paul Doswell’s best signings.
The Tom Jordan saga was simply bizarre. His move from rivals Havant & Waterlooville at first seemed to be questionable as he struggled to settle in the initial stages of his Eastleigh career. However, after half a year or so Jordan went on to become one of and in my opinion Eastleigh’s best centre backs. Jordan played 134 games for Eastleigh and had an impressive goal scoring tally of 24. He was a key figure in our first conference south play off season and who will ever forget the ‘hand of Jord’ against AFC Wimbledon!
Chris Collins was a very good player for Eastleigh. He was solid, had a bit of pace and a good left foot. Both him and Rob Marshall had probably and still remains the best centre back pairing I’ve seen at the club.
Another former Saint, Christer Warren signed for Eastleigh from Bristol Rovers. Similar to Warner he had a bit of pace and defensively solid. Warner spent 3-4 seasons at the club under Paul Doswell.
Scannell in my opinion was Paul Doswell’s best signing. His first stint at Eastleigh during the 2007-08 season was simply incredible. His skill and pace made him an immediate icon at the club. Re-joining in 2011 for a couple of seasons after a period in the football league I thought Scannell’s best days were behind him but still played a vital role in Richard Hill’s first play off season.
David Hughes joined the club along with Paul Doswell in 2002. I remember his debut at Whitchurch United in the opening game of the season where is quality stood out like a sore thumb. His ability to pick passes and switch play was a highlight and he remains a key figure in the clubs recent history.
Captain fantastic. You knew what you would get with Glen Southam every game, hard work and determination. Something the current Eastleigh side is missing, a winner and a leader. Glen played a pivotal role in the Conference South winning season. He scored many vital goals and performed consistently in an Eastleigh shirt.
Mark Marshall had a brief spell with us in 2008. Although only playing 10 games for the club I would still include him in my best XI. Marshall like Damian Scannell had plenty of skill, but his pace was on another level. With those two on the wings in their prime, that would be a frightening midfield.
Craig McAllister was my first favourite Eastleigh player. A young McAllister was certainly different to the modern Physical target man we know today. Macca had plenty of pace and power which earned him a move up the leagues and ultimately a long spell in league football. He is now in his fourth spell with Eastleigh and it wouldn’t surprise me if one day he becomes manager of Eastleigh Football Club.
There’s not much else you can say about Andy Forbes other than ‘legend’. Forbes joined Eastleigh from Winchester City where he scored a ridiculous amount of goals. He was able to mirror this for Eastleigh in his first stint at the club. He re-joined in 2011 and spent a couple of seasons with us as a defender. Andy Forbes is the best striker the club has ever had, fact.
Posted: 22 November 2017