Paul McCallum, left, struck twice in Eastleigh’s win at Salford last weekend
By Matt Badcock
Ben Strevens says Eastleigh hot-shot Paul McCallum is showing what he’s capable of – but he wants him to keep aiming high.
The 25-year-old is one of the National League’s most in-form strikers with seven goals in his last five games.
He has hit doubles in his last three outings including in last weekend’s 2-0 win against Salford City that catapulted the Spitfires into fifth position in the table and took his own tally to 21.
McCallum made his name at Dulwich Hamlet before being signed by West Ham United and spending time on loan at AFC Wimbledon, Aldershot, Torquay, Hearts, and Portsmouth before moving to Leyton Orient.
He scored 15 goals in two seasons for the O’s and the moved to Eastleigh in the summer of 2017.
His first year was disrupted by injury but Strevens says McCallum’s hard work is now paying off,
“Andy Hessenthaler knew him from Leyton Orient so between him and Hilly (Richard Hill) they signed Macca,” Strevens, who took over from Hessenthaler in October, told The NLP. “In one pre-season game last year he scored four or five goals and they were all headers. Straightaway you could tell, you get the right balls into the box and he’ll score goals.
“Last year he was unfortunate that he was in and out through injury. But credit to him, he worked really hard this off season to get himself fit and come back in really good shape. He had a good pre-season and he’s kicked on.
“He’ll be first to admit he’s not going to beat four or five players and bang it in the top corner – he’s very reliant on the service he gets.
“I’m sure if you spoke to him he’d say about the service he’s getting from the likes of Mark Yeates, Josh Hare – even Joey Jones set him up twice last Saturday.
“But the way he finishes with his head or his feet, it’s really good. He’s confident at the moment as well.
“Like when I say about the bigger picture with the group, we’re pushing him to do better. Hess was consistent with it and so am I – he should be scoring 20 goals a season. Now he’s got 21, he’s got to look to get 25 or 30. They’ve got to be his targets to keep improving because he’s more than capable of doing it.”