Ex-Southampton defender Dan Harding content at Eastleigh move

Dan Harding
Dan Harding made the majority of his 334 Football League appearances in the Championship for Southampton

Eastleigh defender Dan Harding insists he does not regret rejecting interest from Championship clubs to ply his trade in non-league.

Harding, 31, joined the Spitfires on a two-year contract after his release from Nottingham Forest in the summer.

The left-back made 98 appearances for Southampton before joining Forest in 2012.

"It is definitely a shock from what I have been used to but it's enjoyable," Harding told BBC Radio Solent.

"I am definitely enjoying my football and off the pitch with my family life with four kids, it's been brilliant and is everything that I wanted."

Harding shunned interest from a host of Football League clubs including League Two side Portsmouth in favour of a switch to Eastleigh.

"We are from the area and my kids go to school locally," he said. "We plan to spend the rest of our lives here - it was a move I wanted to make and one that will hopefully pay off."

A former England Under-21 international, Harding still has a fondness for Saints and tries to attend matches where possible.

"I am always looking out for their results," said the defender.

"My boy still goes to the games and my best mate is Kelvin Davis (the Southampton goalkeeper) and I get to the games when I can."

Harding has made 15 appearances for Eastleigh, who train three times a week, and is preparing for the visit of National League leaders Forest Green Rovers on Tuesday night.

The Spitfires are looking for their second consecutive win under caretaker manager Chris Todd while the club are expected to name their new manager on Thursday.

Richard Hill resigned on 23 September after a five-game winless run which culminated in a 5-2 home defeat to Dover.

Todd will be unable to select Josh Payne and James Constable through suspension, who are serving one-match and three-match bans respectively.

"They are top of the table and they are there for a reason so it will be a big test for us," Harding added.

"There will be blips and hopefully we've hard ours at the beginning and we can finish strongly but there is a long way to go."

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