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Ian Baird signs new contract

Ian BairdEastleigh Football Club are delighted to announce that we have today, agreed a new two-year contract with our manager - Ian Baird.

The Club are very pleased to secure the services of one of the most highly respected managers in Non League Football.

We look forward to sustaining the progress we have made over the past three and a half years whilst Ian has been with us.

The 46-year-old former Saints, Leeds and Middlesbrough striker has agreed a two-year deal that will keep him at the Silverlake Stadium until the end of the 2012/13 campaign.

He led the Spitfires to the Blue Square South play-offs in his first full season in charge and last term took Eastleigh to the FA Cup first round proper for the first time in the club's history.

This season Eastleigh have broke new ground again by reaching the FA Trophy last 16 and are poised for another promotion push, sitting eighth in the table, four points outside the play-off zone with games in hand.

During Baird's time in charge, four players - Damian Scannell (Southend), Mark Marshall (Swindon), Aaron Martin (Saints) and Brett Williams (Reading) - have been sold to Football League clubs.

Director of football Dave Malone said: "We looked at all our options, but we want stability and to build for the future.

"We had a meeting of 15 club directors and all 15 of us agreed that we wanted to give Ian a new contract. We consider Ian to be as good as any manager in the league and we're all very excited about the future."

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