Awford: The buzz is back

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler

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ANDY AWFORD hailed the spirit coursing through his squad and promised: There’s a buzz about us.

The Pompey boss believes his men are carrying through the momentum created at the end of last season into the new campaign.

Awford has detected a clear feel-good factor among his players since they returned for pre-season 12 days ago.

He feels there has been a positive energy in his squad of 27 men which was created through the seven-game unbeaten run which carried Pompey to safety.

Among those players is David Connolly, who appeared to have no future at Fratton Park after he was sent out on loan to Oxford last season.

Awford is pleased Connolly has fitted in well on his return and is part of the upbeat mood among his staff.

He said ‘He (Connolly) is training with the squad.

‘All contracted players are in and training. That’s how it is. All the players are back and working hard.

‘There’s no dramas and no big story. That’s unheard of here isn’t it!

‘The players are all going about their business, they are all training and all happy.

‘There’s a good atmosphere here at the moment. Everything is moving along well. There’s a good buzz about the place, which I expected.

‘We finished the season well and we are trying to carry that momentum through to this season.

‘We’re getting on with getting ready for the season – and that’s how it should be.’

Meanwhile, Awford is staying relaxed about his hunt for a new goalkeeping coach.

He stated he was in no rush to make an appointment with Hawks keeper Scott Bevan working with Paul Jones and Michael Poke at present.

Former coach David Coles appeared in line for a return to Pompey, but instead opted to remain at League One outfit Bristol City.

Awford is working on a couple of options on that front and feels there will be someone in place for the League Two curtain raiser at Exeter on August 9.

He said: ‘I’m still talking to two or three different goalkeeper coaches and trying to get one in.

‘I won’t do it until it’s the right one.

‘Until that time, Scott Bevan is more than capable of stepping in and working with our goalkeepers. He can get them through the work they need to do.

‘I’m not in a rush, but we’ll have it done for the start of the season. I’m not rushing it and I want the right person to come in.

‘I have irons in fires with a couple of people and I’m waiting for a couple of people to come back to me.

‘With staff it’s a bit different to players. Once they’ve made their mind up they want to go it happens.

‘It’s just about getting the right one and making sure they can fit in to how we work.’

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