Hawks v Pompey
West Leigh park
Some things come, some things go.
Pompey are teetering on the edge of a new era, where this new epoch is headed we do not know, the early euphoria we felt on the close of season news that Sulaiman Al Fahim was to buy out Sacha Gaydamak has been tempered somewhat by the sheer timescale the whole process has taken.
A new era DOES await, we may not be up there with what is occuring in deepest Manchester, we may not even have the spending power of a Division 3 team on minus ten points just up the motorway, but a page has been turned, the regime of Harry Redknapp has been just about washed away in one giant Tsunami of open mouthed despair as we clear the debts of a chased dream.
Since writing the preview of the first pre-season friendly of last season, we have lost possesion of the FA cup, had a brief flirtation with European football, waved goodbye to first Redknapp, then Diarra, Defoe, half the coaching staff, Adams, Johnson and quite likely Crouch and Distin, along with several out of contract favourites.
But one thing remains, the football.
Players come, players go, managers toy with our emotions, owners seem to change hands with more frequency than you would move house these days, Pompey are still at PO4 8RA, and those that really care will still turn up no matter what.
We turn again to on-field matters, Pompey will field 11 players, just who I don't know!
H&W Team News:
Shaun Gale has had turmoil himself close season as Charlie Oatway left under a cloud, and players departed as the season became more of a relegation battle thana promotion challenge (bit like their more illustrious neighbours!)
Robbie Martin is the Hawks new hot-shot, while Pompey old boy Nightingale remains at the club.
Old youth product Hinshelwood is another familiar name.
Player to watch: Nightingale
The 2 goals against West Brom seem an age ago now, but one of Pompey's own is still plying his trade in the lower leagues and with some success.
Pompey Team News:
Paul Hart has promised all first team players will be present, this may give huge pointers to who is actually staying!
Will we see Distin? Jamo? Kaboul? Kranjcar?
Player to watch: Matt Ritchie
The Gosport boy is on the verge of a breakthrough, and he is one player with the club genuinely at heart, this may be the stage where it all begins.
Match Facts & Stats
Normally a close fought affair, but Pompey normally field a shadow side for this one, but lack of players means our first team doubles as the shadow team as well!!
I can't predict the line-up so am passing on this one.
Basingstoke on Saturday