AN HONEST Ben Strevens has revealed that he wants to bring in one or two younger players after Ben House’s move but added: “Whether I will be able to or not, I don’t know. We really need to.”

The Spitfires will be moving forward without their star attacker House, following his permanent transfer to League One Lincoln City for an undisclosed fee.

The forward is the third Eastleigh gem to move into the upper reaches of the Football League in three seasons – following Rob Atkinson and Joe Tomlinson’s moves.

Those deals have made the club “a lot of money,” admits Strevens, but the power is out of his hands regarding what they can reinvest this winter.

Daily Echo: Ben House has moved to League One Lincoln City (Pic: Tom Mulholland)Ben House has moved to League One Lincoln City (Pic: Tom Mulholland)

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Strevens gave Spitfires supporters a lengthy and detailed situation report following House’s move.

He told us: “What I want to do, whether I can or not is another matter, there is a couple targets in the Conference South that I want to go for.

“I want to try and get them in. I don’t know if I’m going to be allowed to but that’s what I want to do, hopefully I can do it.

“Our identity for the last few years has been moving away from the finances that Eastleigh have, because we haven’t had it and we haven’t got it.

Daily Echo: (L to R) Jason Bristow, Jason Brookes, Ross Flitney and Ben Strevens (Pic: Tom Mulholland)(L to R) Jason Bristow, Jason Brookes, Ross Flitney and Ben Strevens (Pic: Tom Mulholland)

“All these teams have huger budgets than us but it’s always been can we push on and try and somehow make the play-offs. Twice out of the last three years we have overachieved, but other people take that for granted now.”

He continued: “Now, I want that identity as well. We got a little bit, not muddled because that’s the wrong word but we thought about going the other way and getting some more experience in.

“We lost important players like (Jack) Payne, (Michael) Green, (Joe) Partington, you need them characters but I want our identity to be giving younger players chances and that’s what I want to do.

“Whether I will be able to do it I really don’t know, we have a director of football and a board that make all them decisions but we have to do something, we really do.

“What we are going to be able to do, I don’t know. We might have to take a young lad out of an under-23s and give them a chance, someone like Luke Southwood who we gave a chance and was amazing.

Daily Echo: Luke Southwood plays for Reading in the Championship (Pic: PA)Luke Southwood plays for Reading in the Championship (Pic: PA)

“We have done things like that with Marcus Barnes and Sam Matthews, but the thing with those is they may do amazing but they are always going to leave, you know.

“They’re always going to go back to their parent clubs. I’d rather go for a boy out of the Conference South, or our level, a young lad to invest in, try and give them the platform to kick on.

“To go up to League One and make the club some money.”

Strevens then revealed that the club’s recent business has been very lucrative.

He said: “I can’t say what, but in those three transfers and the sell-on from Rob going this year – trust me, they’ve paid for my wages, Jason’s (Bristow) and everyone else’s over and over again.

Daily Echo: Former Spitfire Rob Atkinson is also a Championship regular (Pic: PA)Former Spitfire Rob Atkinson is also a Championship regular (Pic: PA)

“We have made this club a lot of money in the last few years, a huge amount of money. And we need it.

“We’re not the size of these clubs you know, we were very lucky to have Stewart Donald as a wealthy investor and it was amazing to be a part of, so enthusiastic in wanting to get this club into the Football League.

“Now Kenny and them are doing it the way they are, every penny counts and to sell someone – I feel terrible about it and they do too because we don’t want to lose them – it helps when that money comes in.

“We will try and find another one or two, whether it’s in January or at the end of the season I will work with it. If we can’t reinvest it then Dan Smith is coming back into the group, pushing Hilly on and pushing other boys on.

“That’s what we will be talking about in the weeks to come.”