EASTLEIGH defender Michael Kelly has shared how competition for places is spurring players on at the Silverlake Stadium.

Left-back Kelly, who joined the Spitfires in 2021, has made 12 league appearances this campaign, duking it out with Vincent Harper for the starting berth in Lee Bradbury’s team.

Speaking to BBC Radio Solent, the 25-year-old shared: “There's been competition all over the pitch for places.

“Every person in that changing room is fully aware that if you're not on it one game, then you'd be starting on the bench or you'd be in the stand the next game.

“It is important that we've got that competition. Competition is good for me personally. I’ve just got to keep going, just got to keep trying to lead on the pitch, trying to be a voice and trying to be good on the ball.

“What's good for us is we're different full-backs, in a sense.

“Vinny obviously likes to get high and use his pace and take people on. He's very good at that. And I obviously bring a different style by trying to drop deep and get the ball and maybe look for midfield runners that run into the final third and try and pick them out and get high and get crosses in the box.

Quite often last year and also this year, we've played together, (at) left back (and) left mid. So it's good, but as I say, competition is good all over and hopefully we can keep going.”

Eastleigh visit Woking in the FA Trophy this weekend in their next game, following the postponement of their midweek trip to Dagenham & Redbridge. The Spitfires have not won back-to-back league games since August, with Kelly urging his teammates to find more consistency.

“Where we are in the table, it’s kind of been a reflection of the season,” mentioned Kelly.

“We've either went on a decent run and won a couple, picked up some points, or we've maybe went three games without actually picking up any points.

“So it's trying to get that in between, trying to be consistent and hopefully we can do that in the next few games.”


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