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Stewart Donald interview | Radio Solent

Quotes from Stewart Donald's interview with BBC Radio Solent looking ahead to next season:

“The team that’s finished the season is not strong enough to achieve our ambitions," said the Spitfires chairman.

"We were in serious trouble and that was predominantly due to the players that were here.

“Richard’s got players on contract potentially signed by three different managers who were all looking for different things.

“We’ve got a few players on contract, which will give us a starting point of about 11, but those players may or may not end up featuring.

“We will meet our financial commitments to them, but it isn’t a given that they will play.

“One or two will be told that, although they’re on contract, they can look for other clubs.”

Three of Eastleigh’s bigger-named players – ex-Football League trio Ryan Cresswell, Jason Taylor and Reda Johnson – have missed significant chunks of the season injured.

Donald said: “They’re all strong players and we’ll assess their injuries and whether we will get 30-40 games from them next season.”

Reflecting on the 2016/17 campaign, the chairman summed up: "It's been an emotional season with lots of ups and downs - and an expensive one too. We haven't achieved what we wanted to on the pitch but I think the club and myself will learn from it and be stronger for it in the long run."

Ambitious Eastleigh ready for a summer of recruitment

EASTLEIGH boss Richard Hill is due to meet the players today regarding the retained list for next season. The process is complicated this year by the fact that four different team bosses have had spells in charge and Hill has inherited contract players he would not ordinarily have kept.

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23-year-old centre-back Callum Howe has joined Eastleigh on loan until January from Lincoln City.

Spitfires boss Richard Hill said: “I’ve known Callum and been a big admirer of his for quite a while.

“He and Boycey played together at Scunthorpe – in fact they’re best mates.”

Howe started his playing career at Scunthorpe United. Since then he has gone on to play for Southport, Bradford Park and Alfreton amongst others.

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Pleased to have joined @EastleighFC on loan until January ⚽️.. thanks for all of the messages, much appreciated! — Callum Howe (@calhowe) August 15, 2017

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