FORMER Pompey striker Vincent Pericard remains determined to get back into professional football after joining the Hawks on a short-term deal.
Free-agent Pericard, who scored nine goals in 32 appearances during the Blues’ 2002-03 promotion-winning season, is training with Bournemouth but joined Shaun Gale’s Blue Square Bet South side in a bid to boost his match fitness.
The 29-year-old former Juventus player was given 25 minutes as a second-half substitute in the 2-1 defeat by Bromley at the weekend.
However, with Pericard expected to play in the Hawks’ friendly with a Royal Navy XI at Burnaby Road tonight (7.30pm), the striker is targeting a regular start for the Hawks and a swift return to the Football League.
‘I definitely want to get back into full-time football,’ he said.
‘At the moment, I am training every day with Bournemouth, which is something a person like me needs.
‘The reason I have come to Havant is to get my match fitness back by playing 90 minutes. I am very happy that they are giving me the opportunity to do this.
‘I know the Bournemouth manager Lee Bradbury from our days playing together up front at Portsmouth.
‘He said “come training and I’ll have a look at you”.
‘I explained to him my situation, so he arranged for me to come to Havant and he’ll see what I am like in a month’s time.
The Frenchman added: ‘It is nice to be back in the area because Portsmouth is a very special place for me because it is where I started in this country eight years ago.
‘I love Portsmouth because it is a very welcoming city.’
Pericard gave the Hawks – who will receive £45,000 for the transfer of Wes Fogden to Bournemouth – with a physical presence when he joined Lee Peacock and Ollie Palmer up front for the closing stages of Saturday’s disappointing home defeat.
He showed a good touch, as you would expect, but couldn’t help the Hawks unlock the Kent side’s defence.
The former France under-21 international was happy to get some game time under his belt but hopes to get in a lot more minutes on the pitch in the coming weeks.
‘I wish I could have had more time but I understand that I have only just arrived,’ said Pericard.
‘Everyone knows I am here to get games under my belt.
‘I didn’t feel too bad because it was my first game for a long time and the team did very well, apart from two minutes of defensive sloppiness which cost us.
‘Personally, I know I’ve still got a long way to go but I am sure it will come.’
Bournemouth manager Bradbury indicated there might be the chance of a deal for Pericard at Dean Court if he does well at Westleigh Park.
‘He’s a big, strong, quick target man and on his day he’s a real handful,’ said Bradbury
‘I just wanted to get him down to get him training and you never know what will happen. If he does well then I told him we will see what happens.’