By Connor Steel
GOSPORT BOROUGH FC have this week announced their opening pre-season fixture as local rivals Portsmouth FC look set to visit Privett Park in early July, the warm up encounter solidifying good relationships between the two clubs and acting as a first insight into both line-ups as preparing for the new 2022-23 campaign continue behind the scenes following a short break.
The two sides were meant to meet on July 21 last year but this match was cancelled at short notice, with the new fixture set to be the first since September 2020. On that occasion a Portsmouth XI were four-nil victors in front of a limited crowd fans at Privett Park; Ronan Curtis, Ryan Williams and a double from Reeco Hackett-Fairchild scoring for the Blues on a dry but overcast Tuesday evening.
Both clubs have confirmed that the friendly will take place at Privett Park on July 3 (Sunday), with a 3pm kick-off. It comes as Portsmouth play another derby in the form of Havant & Waterlooville twenty-four hours earlier at Westleigh Park, before travelling to a training camp in Murcia, Spain the following day (July 4).
Although the two sides are likely to field mixed and younger teams, the fixture will no-doubt draw a large crowd to Gosport due to the connections between them; with no caps on attendance in comparison to the game in autumn 2020. Ticket information will be released in due course around the fixture with Privett Park having a capacity attendance of 3,500 supporters for safety reason.
The hosts are furthermore hoping to turn the event in a family fun day event similar to the Sophie’s Legacy match held nine days ago, advertising ‘Club Super Sunday’ to work alongside the match. And home manager Shaun Gale seemed excited when he addressed the club website, saying: “Its going to be a great game for our boys to be involved in and lets hope we can make it a great occasion for the Gosport Community to come together, to enjoy the day and look forward to next season”.
Supporters are asked to check their club websites for further updates on how pre-season preparations are ongoing, including warm up friendlies and signings over the coming weeks. League fixtures are also due to be announced for both sides before the end of next month by the respective organisations, pending any non-league allocation appeals and logistical issues across the football pyramid.
PICTURED BY SARAH STANDING: Gosport host Pompey in September 2020 at Privett Park with a 4-0 away win.