Bradbury: Wes will be a Blues favourite

Wes Fogden made a big impression during his time at the Hawks Picture: Dave Haines
Wes Fogden made a big impression during his time at the Hawks Picture: Dave Haines
Stuart O'Keefe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey midfielder will relish facing former club

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The man who gave Wes Fogden his chance in professional football has told Blues fans: He is exactly the type of player you want.

Lee Bradbury, now manager at the Hawks, first signed the versatile midfielder from Westleigh Park when he was Bournemouth boss in October 2011.

And Bradbury, who scored 46 goals in 138 appearances for Pompey in two spells with the club, believes the former Brighton trainee made the fastest transition from non-league football to the professional ranks he has seen.

Bradbury said: ‘He’s a player I signed from Havant & Waterlooville for Bournemouth.

‘He would run through a brick wall for you and I know from my own personal experience that those Pompey fans appreciate you working hard – even if things aren’t going for you.

‘They want to see you doing all you can to win and giving everything to the cause. He is definitely one of those characters.

‘He has that ability to work hard, close down and get opportunities off the back of that.

‘But he has got good quality on the ball. He is a real threat in that final third.

‘He is a fantastic professional, he does everything absolutely spot-on and is so infectious in the dressing room and on the pitch.

‘His work-rate is second to none and he will give 100 per cent day in, day out.

‘I think the Pompey fans will absolutely love him.

‘He’s a great signing for them and I’m sure he will do very well.’

Fogden’s work ethic extends beyond his efforts on the pitch and Bradbury believes that helped him make the step-up to the full-time ranks when his opportunity came along with the Cherries.

‘It’s the quickest I have ever seen someone adapt to league football from non-league,’ said Bradbury.

‘I have seen quite a few players make that step and he made the transition very smoothly.

‘He was part-time but he went training on his own every day anyway.

‘He would go to the gym and train on his own. I think he reaped the benefits of that when he did go full-time.

‘I had to stop him doing too much at times but that’s the type of kid he is, so I think he will be a real favourite there.’

The other factor that Fogden has in his favour is his ability to play in a number of positions.

Although it’s unclear where boss Richie Barker will look to use him, Bradbury knows his former player can do a job throughout the team as the new signing presses for a place in tomorrow’s League Two encounter with Mansfield.

Bradbury added: ‘I used him playing off a target man in the hole and he can certainly score goals for you from there.

‘But I also used him as a winger on either side in a 4-4-2 as well.

‘He gives you that energy, gets up and down, helps the full-back out and is a threat going forward, too.

‘To be honest, he is happy playing there, anywhere across midfield or even at right-back.

‘Having played a couple of years at right-back myself towards the end of my career, I know it’s about where you can get a game!’