Skip to main content

Baird's dramatic U-turn over Spitfires ace Forbes

By Wendy Gee -

ANDY Forbes's six-year love affair with Eastleigh is over following a late change of heart by boss Ian Baird.

After a meeting between manager and player last Thursday morning, it was 90 per cent agreed that the Reading-based striker - scorer of 143 goals in 268 Spitfires appearances - would be staying put at the Blue Square Bet South club.

But after mulling things over for 24 hours, Baird concluded that, taking his age and the number of games played over the past two seasons into account, re-signing fans' favourite Forbes did not represent value for money.

"When I spoke to Forbesy last Thursday, we 90 per cent agreed a deal to sign him on the same money he was on last season," Baird admitted.

"But having had a deep think about it for 24 hours, I met (director of football) Dave Malone and explained the reasons why I wasn't going to sign him.

"And then I rang Forbesy and told him the same thing.

"Forbesy's made 34 league starts in the last two seasons and he's nearing 31 years of age.

"Taking all that into account, I just felt it was too big a risk to sign him for the money he wanted.

"The positives were that Forbesy's a good player who can play in two positions (centre-forward and centre-half) very well, but I had my reservations about him last season when I put him on the transfer list.

"I got a good reaction from him, but I wasn't convinced that re-signing him on the same pay as last season would be value for money."

So certain was Forbes that he'd agreed a new deal with Eastleigh that he contacted ex-Spitfires boss Paul Doswell at Sutton last Thursday to tell him he was staying at the Silverlake.

Since then Doswell, who had headed the queue for the out-of-contract marksman, has gone elsewhere to bolster his Ryman Premier strike force by re-signing Craig Dundas from Hampton & Richmond Borough.

Doswell said: "I waited ten days for an answer from Andy and he rang last Thursday to say 'thanks for the interest' but he wanted to prove a point at Eastleigh and stay playing at the same level, which I can understand."

Asked if that was the end of Sutton's interest in Forbes, the U's boss added: "You can never say never in football, but I've signed someone else now, so I would say it probably is."

The timing of Eastleigh's U-turn will have disappointed Forbes, but Baird said: "As far as I'm concerned, we hadn't 100 per cent agreed a deal.

"Forbesy might have a right to feel let down, but the other side of the coin is that he'd already spoken to two clubs (Sutton and Woking).

"I've been let down a million times by players in the past.

"It's me who signs the players and, if things don't work out, it gets thrown back in my face.

"Every manager makes mistakes sometimes in signing players and I'm as guilty as the next.

"But I get paid to make big decisions like this - and I've made it.

"The fact is that I didn't feel 100 per cent right about it (re-signing Forbes).

"It's solely my decision."


  1. Would you be kind enough to express my sincere gratitide to Andy Forbes for the sheer entertainment value he has supplied to both Eastleigh and Winchester City fans over the past ten seasons. A quality player with an excellent attitude.
    Finally, thank David Malone for having the foresight to sign him in the first place.
    Regards Peter R


Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Torquay 1-2 Eastleigh

Eastleigh secured back-to-back wins with a 2-1 win at Torquay to make it six games unbeaten. Ross Flitney saved a penalty late in the game to help preserve victory after goals from Sam Matthews and Gavin Hoyte for the Spitfires.

Reaction from Andy Hessenthaler and Ross Flitney:

FA Trophy: Ebbsfleet 2-1 Eastleigh

Eastleigh lost 2-1 at Ebbsfleet in the FA Trophy.

The hosts took the lead through Danny Kedwell before the Spitfires hit back with an instant reply when Cavaghn Miley equalised. 
Ebbsfleet progressed in the cup though thanks to a late goal from Myles Weston.

Reaction from Eastleigh assistant manager Andy Hessenthaler:
#spitfires assistant boss Andy Hessenthaler with @Ian_Wilding1 after @EastleighFC exit FA Trophy at Ebbsfleet United — BBC Solent Sport (@solentsport) December 16, 2017

Eastleigh 4-4 Bromley

Paul McCallum bagged a hattrick for Eastleigh in a rollercoaster 4-4 draw against Bromley at the Silverlake Stadium.

Richard Hill's reaction: “There’s been times when I’ve been accused of not entertaining people, but today we have – both teams.

“It was one of those crazy, crazy games you get two or three times a season.

“But today you’ve seen two teams that need to defend better. Most definitely my team need to defend better.

“We’ve had to score four goals to draw a game of football at home.

“For the first 25 minutes, we probably played as well as we have all season and there were spells in the second half when we played some decent, flowing football, but we can’t defend like that.

“Brett (Williams) has come on and changed the game, but we were always going to face a bit of an onslaught from them and we didn’t handle it well enough, we really didn’t.

“But then give us a bit of credit for fighting back twice.”
EASTLEIGH: Graham Stack, Gavin Hoyte, Sam Wood (Sam Matthews, 82), Danny Holla…

Dagenham & Redbridge 1-2 Eastleigh

Eastleigh got off to a winning start under Andy Hessenthaler securing a 2-1 win at Dagenham & Redbridge. The Spitfires came back from a goal down with Chris Zebroski and Paul McCallum both on the scoresheet.

Reaction and match tweets below:
🎙 REACTION | Andy Hessenthaler gave his assessment following today's dramatic victory against​ @Dag_RedFC!#Spitfires 🔵⚪️ — Eastleigh FC (@EastleighFC) December 23, 2017

Eastleigh 1-1 Torquay

Eastleigh drew 1-1 with Torquay on Boxing Day. After a goalless first half, the visitors took the lead through a Jamie Read penalty early in the second half. Torquay were then reduced to ten men before Cav Miley equalised for the Spitfires.