Portchester will be captained by former Bournemouth, Bristol City, Ipswich Town, and Portsmouth forward Brett Pitman. Last season, Jersey-born Pitman played for National League Eastleigh. Pitman has made a total of 628 appearances over his long career, scoring 196 goals.
AFC Portchester are hoping Brett Pitman’s competitive debut will boost their opening day attendance on Tuesday. As a result, Portchester could attract a crowd well in excess of last season’s league average of around 250 for the visit of the Island club.
Pitman, 34, is one of the most audacious signings any club in the 9th tier of English football has ever made. He has certainly made an impact in his 1st month at Portchester, scoring 9 goals in pre-season friendlies, including braces against Lymington, Folland Sports, and Salisbury.
He was also on target in the 1-1 draw against 3 tiers higher Hawks, and netted again in Portchester’s final friendly – a draw 2-2 against 2 divisions higher Gosport Borough.
Portchester have already faced Isle of Wight opposition when they drew 1-1 with Newport at Smallbrook on 16th July. However, Portchester travelled without several 1st team players, including Brett Pitman.
Last season, the Yachtsmen lost 6-0 to Portchester at the Onsite Group Stadium, but beat them 2-1 in a controversial game at Westwood Park. Cowes drew their final pre-season friendly fixture 2-2 against Wessex League 1 side Millbrook in Southampton last Wednesday (27th July).
The County town club Newport also play their 1st fixture in Wessex Division 1 at 19:45 this evening when they travel to North Hampshire to face Ash United. The Port were unable to play their final pre-season friendly when Chichester City pulled out of Saturday’s game. Newport last played the previous Tuesday, when they beat Island League Whitecroft & Barton 3-0 at Smallbrook.
East Cowes Vics begin their season on Saturday 6th August when they face Amesbury Town at Beatrice Avenue.
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