After coming through a tough JPL national cup qualifying group with four wins from four scoring 16 goals in the process, the U16s faced Portsmouth in the Community in the first knock out round coming from three nil down to win 4-3.

In the Round of 32, the young Spitfires faced Carterton FC and produced a fantastic performance to beat them 5-1.

The lads progressed to the Round of 16 after they defeated Wiltshire Football Academy 5-2 in another impressive performance against a very good side.

They will face Gloucester City FC on 3rd February in the quarter finals and will be hoping to earn a ticket to the semi-finals.

Head of Academy Luke Hardy had this to say;

“It’s a fantastic achievement to see one of our Under 16s squads reach the last 8 of a national competition. A massive well done to Neil, Lee and the players, let’s hope they can continue to progress within the competition and represent the club nationally. Lee Kelly and Neil Cassar have built a fantastic squad and they are showing the quality they have in abundance”.

“This is only one example of many huge successes we have going on within the academy programme. We have 2 other Under 16s teams within the academy who are also performing extremely well. These 2 sides compete in an Under 18s league, often competing against players 1/2 years older and are both right at the top end of their respective leagues which is a great achievement. Credit has to go to Ashley Healey (Orange’s manger), Dan Clarke (Blues manager), the assistant coaches and Jamie Wiseman (goalkeeping coach) for the way these 2 squads are performing/conducting themselves against older opposition week in week out”.

“It really does look promising for the future with these groups progressing into our full time scholarship and education programme at Eastleigh Football Club. We have excellent strength in depth at Under 16 level and we are excited about what the future could hold for many of the boys”.

A huge congratulations to all of the players and staff for this achievement!