EASTLEIGH managerial hopeful Ben Strevens has had a helping hand on the training pitch this week – from the boss of Basingstoke Town.

Jason Bristow who, in his day job, is head of scholarship at the Silverlake Stadium, has been assisting the caretaker boss with some coaching.

Strevens said: “I really appreciate Jason’s help. He was brought in last Christmas-time by Hilly (ex-boss Richard Hill) to head up the youth department with Luke Hardy (head of academy).

“He came onto the training pitch to help with the boys yesterday and he was brilliant. He's going to come out again tomorrow.

“If I’m lucky enough to get the job, he’s the sort of person I’d need to work alongside me.

"Jason’s got no ulterior motive, he doesn’t want to be Eastleigh manager.”

With the board currently sifting through more than 75 applications, Strevens faces stiff competition to land the job permanently.

But the players have made it abundantly clear that they want the 38-year-old to be given a chance and, if Strevens is successful, youth development will be one of his top priorities at the National League club.

“It’s important moving forward that there’s a pathway through from the youth to the first team," he said.

“That’s not been possible for the last four or five years because success was needed tomorrow. People like Hilly and Martin Allen couldn’t push youngsters through because they were so reliant on getting results.

“But the young players coming through now are of a real good standard and we’ll be getting more involved, whether they’re from our own youth system or they’ve been released by Southampton or whoever.

“Ollie Dennett’s already shown what he can do and I’m getting nothing but good reports back on Tom Bearwish who’s out on loan at Totton.

“Callum Baughan and Lewis Harvey aren’t out on loan at the moment, they’re needed in and around the group, but we’ll try and get them out so that when they’re needed, they’re ready to play.”

Applications for the manager’s job are due to close on Friday. Spitfires' chief executive Kenny Amor confirmed: “We’ve had between 75 and 100 applications and have been blown away by the calibre of people applying for the job.”

Eastleigh also have a vacancy for a chairman after Mark Jewell stood down through ill health. Finance director Joanne Sprigg and long-serving director Alan Harding have also left the board.

"We will look to appoint a chairman over the next few weeks," said Amor.

"We're still very strong in the boardroom. We still have six board members and we're very comfortable with that."

Eastleigh are in FA Cup fourth qualifying round action on Saturday, at home to Hampton & Richmond Borough (3pm).