Awford: We won’t forget our non-league friends

Andy Awford is grateful to the Hawks and Bognor for helping out the Pompey Academy Picture: Barry Zee

Andy Awford is grateful to the Hawks and Bognor for helping out the Pompey Academy Picture: Barry Zee

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Andy Awford has expressed his thanks to Pompey’s non-league friends for stepping in to host Academy games.

The former Blues skipper joined caretaker boss Guy Whittingham in the first-team set-up last year but is still carrying out his duties as Pompey Academy boss.

With the club leaving their Eastleigh training headquarters last month, the Blues’ under-18s needed a venue to play their fixtures.

But the Hawks and Bognor have kindly offered the use of Westleigh Park and Nyewood Lane respectively for the rest of the season at no charge to Pompey – a gesture Awford insists won’t be forgotten.

He said: ‘You don’t forget your friends. I certainly won’t forget, anyway.

‘At the Academy, a lot of people have helped us but our non-league neighbours have really done their bit and we thank them for it.

‘We’re extremely grateful to Lee Bradbury and Derek Pope at Havant & Waterlooville and Jack Pearce and Darin Killpartrick at Bognor.

‘Maybe a few more Pompey fans might now be able to get down to watch the games and see some of the youngsters coming through.’

Pompey host Bristol Rovers in the semi-finals of the Youth Alliance Cup today at Westleigh Park (11am), and Awford has vowed that Pompey will continue to nurture links with the Hawks and Bognor.

‘We’re happy to help where we can with getting players out on loan and things like that,’ said Awford.

‘I’m not sure we can help them out all that much at the moment, but in the future we might be able to repay a few favours.

‘It’s great to know that there is that Pompey spirit around the city and beyond and our local non-league clubs are getting behind us.’

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