How Tarbuck has risen to Hawks challenge

Bradley Tarbuck has been a key man for the Hawks this season. Picture: Habibur Rahman
Bradley Tarbuck has been a key man for the Hawks this season. Picture: Habibur Rahman
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One reason the Hawks are in and around the National League South play-off places has been the consistent performances of wing-back Bradley Tarbuck.

The 22-year-old started to break into the side in the latter part of last season – helping the Westeligh Park outfit to the Ryman League premier division title.

It is this season, however, that Tarbuck has taken off – starting nine of the first 15 league games.

Lee Bradbury believes the former Pompey talent has the ability to get back into the professional game.

‘This season our system of playing wing-backs has suited him,’ said the Hawks boss.

‘He is willing to run up and down the right-hand side and is a good crosser of the ball.

‘Opponents have found him a constant threat and thorn in their side.

‘He consistently attacks opposition defences at pace.

‘I challenged him at the start of the season to make the position his own and he has played in pretty much most of our games.

‘Confidence-wise he is looking like he feels he belongs in the side.’

Tarbuck came through Pompey’s academy and made his professional debut in the League Cup in August 2012. He was awarded a one-year professional deal in May 2014 after topping the youth team’s scoring charts.

Having made two league appearances for the Blues, he joined National League side Dartford before a switch to Dorchester Town during the 2014-15 campaign.

Tarbuck was released by Pompey in May 2015 and returned to Dorchester for the 2015-16 season, scoring 11 goals in 38 games.

He then joined the Hawks in the summer of 2016.

Tarbuck has not been at his best in front of goal this season.

But his hat-trick against AFC Sudbury towards the back end of last season shows he is capable of finding the net.

‘The lad has a great attitude and this is an important time in his career,’ added Bradbury.

‘As for scoring goals, once he gets one I am sure the floodgates will open.

‘He is keen to play as high as he can and I am sure he would jump at the chance to go back into the professional game if it came along.’

Tarbuck did score twice in the 9-0 Portsmouth Senior Cup demolition of Petersfield Town.

The Hawks will host Paulsgrove in the next round – which will take place in the week commencing December 10.

The previous week Bradbury will take his team to Dover Road for a Hampshire Senior Cup tie with Southern League east division Moneyfields.

The Hawks welcome Hemel Hempstead Town to Westleigh Park for a league fixture next Saturday.