Bognor spell could indicate end of Harris’ Pompey time

Ashley Harris played for Pompey against Bognor in pre-season
Ashley Harris played for Pompey against Bognor in pre-season
Danny Rose and Oli Hawkins in action against Southend. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Ashley Harris may have played his last game for Pompey after joining Bognor on loan.

The 20-year-old yesterday linked up with the Ryman League premier division outfit for an initial month’s loan.

However, there is scope for the agreement to be extended to take in the remainder of the campaign.

Harris was an unused substitute at Chesterfield on Tuesday night for the Blues’ impressive goalless draw with the League Two leaders.

But it represented only the ninth time he has made a match-day squad this season, with just one appearance coming from those outings.

And with the Purbrook youngster’s contract up at the end of the season, he faces a massive battle to earn a new one.

In the meantime, Harris has the opportunity of playing first-team football at the Rocks – a factor he will be relishing after a hugely frustrating campaign so far.

He started last night’s match against Billericay at Nyewood Lane, beginning his third different loan spell this season.

Unfortunately, previous time spent at the Hawks and then Chelmsford didn’t give the home-grown youngster the career kick-start he had been hoping for.

Harris played twice for Lee Bradbury’s side in September and also twice at Chelmsford in November, although both represented unsuccessful loan spells.

He did, however, return to the Blues first-team fold and was used by Richie Barker as an early substitute against Southend on New Year’s Day.

Yet the youngster has made only two squads since and is now highly unlikely to add to a Pompey record of 35 games and three goals.

During that time – since his March 2012 debut against Birmingham City, granted by Michael Appleton – he has taken in football in three different divisions.

Bognor represents another opportunity for Harris to play and one which will link him up with former Academy team-mate Dan Thompson, who was released last summer.

Thompson himself has recently joined the Rocks.

The powerful striker clinched a second spell at Nyewood Lane, where he was on loan from Pompey towards the end of last season.

Blues midfielder Nick Awford has also been on loan at the West Sussex club, although recently broke a toe to hit his availability for the side.

Awford, who made his Pompey debut last season, is also out of contract this summer. Youngsters Jack Maloney, George Branford, Liam Triggs, Josh Warren also have deals expiring.