Burnham boss: We won’t stop Bird making Pompey switch

Ryan Bird has been training with Pompey since the start of last week and scored a brace in the 5-0 victory against the Hawks on Tuesday night

Ryan Bird has been training with Pompey since the start of last week and scored a brace in the 5-0 victory against the Hawks on Tuesday night

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Burnham boss Martin Stone has vowed not to stand in the way of Ryan Bird’s Pompey progress.

The 24-year-old is contracted to the Southern League division one outfit for another year, entitling them to a fee.

However, Stone has revealed the Buckinghamshire club are prepared to rip up that deal to allow the striker the opportunity to play in the Football League.

He believes Burnham would welcome the offer of a potential money-spinning friendly with the Blues instead. That is providing Guy Whittingham decides he wants to recruit Bird, who has been with Burnham since the age of eight.

Stone said: ‘With Ryan, there is an obligation with Burnham.

‘He is the only contracted player we have got and has been for years.

‘Ryan has been very loyal, having been here since eight years old.

‘He has risen through the juniors and reserves and had chances to move but has opted to stay.

‘So we will do our bit and won’t stand in the way of anything that may happen with Portsmouth.

‘I think our club president has already been in touch with someone at Portsmouth regarding that.

‘There is something to be arranged between the two clubs, possibly a friendly, although that is up to the upper echelons of the clubs to sort out.

‘We are chuffed to bits for Ryan.

‘He deserves his chance and hopefully will get it at Portsmouth.’

Bird scored 45 goals for Burnham last season as they won the league title.

A defender converted into a striker by Stone a few years ago, Bird has now scored 132 times in 340 matches for the club.

Wycombe, Newport County and Mansfield have joined Pompey in monitoring the progress of the tall striker who is currently on holiday in Spain.

Certainly, his two-goal introduction to the Blues fans against the Hawks on Tuesday night was a favourable one.

And Stone has no qualms Bird has what it takes to succeed in the Football League – if given the opportunity.

He added: ‘I think Ryan will do very well at that level, if given the chance.

‘It sounds like he has already caught the eye of the fans.

‘He had an exceptional season for us last year, scoring 45 goals.

‘That says it all about him as a plater.

‘He’s quick, he’s strong, he’s a target man and at 6ft 2in makes things happen.

‘Ryan also loves the ball down the side of people and has the pace and awareness to receive it there.

‘The ball does tend to find him in and around the box and he is very good in the air.

‘I heard about his goals the other night for Portsmouth, but he can score all manner of goals.

‘Shots, headers, tap-ins, volleys, scrappy, 25-yarders, he has them all in his locker and we saw them last season.

‘Ryan can score any goal he wants.’

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