CHELSEA young gun John Swift has told the Fratton faithful: It’d be amazing to play for you.
The Gosport starlet admitted turning out for Pompey remains on his mind after making his Premier League breakthrough.
Swift continued a sensational period in his young career, after he was given his first senior minutes by Jose Mourinho on the last day of the Premier League season against Cardiff.
That’s on top of the 18-year-old helping his team to Barclays Under-21 Premier League title glory at Manchester United last week.
Goals and assists have flowed for Swift in the Uefa Youth League at under-19 and under-21 level, too.
He is now set to link up with the England under-19 squad for European qualifying duty, which begins this Saturday.
Pompey pair Adam Webster and Jack Whatmough will not be involved, though, having failed to make Noel Blake’s 18-man squad.
Swift is then expected to search for loan time away from Chelsea to further his development.
He is hoping for that to be at Championship level, as he is touted as one of the Londoners’ most promising players.
But Swift explained playing for Pompey has always been on his radar.
He said: ‘It’s always a thought to return to Pompey.
‘It would be amazing to play in front of a crowd that I have known all about ever since I was really young. The crowd are crazy.
‘Nearly all of my friends support Pompey.
‘I always get texts from my friends saying “come to Pompey” and stuff like that.
‘If I ever played for Pompey, nearly everyone I know would be there!
‘If Pompey are playing I always want them to win, because that is where I am from. It’s just unlucky that they are where they are.
‘I definitely want them to start pushing up the leagues.’
Swift explained he has had to fight against setbacks to make it to the level he is at now.
Pompey released him at an early age and he was left playing parks football after the same happened at Chelsea.
But perseverance saw him eventually taken on by the Premier League giants again.
Swift said: ‘I went to Brune Park school in Gosport and played for my school football team and Pompey.
‘Pompey released me when I was quite young, though, which was disappointing – but I had to just get through it.
‘I went to a Pace Youth team in Southampton and played there for a year-and-a-half – then got picked up by Chelsea.
‘Chelsea released me and so I went back to Sunday League football in Southampton.
‘I then underwent a three-day trial at Chelsea and they resigned me.
‘My Sunday League manager wanted me to go to Southampton because they brought players like Bale and Walcott through.
‘But for me I had just been released from Chelsea and I wanted to prove myself. Me and my family had a hard time choosing.’