Clock ticking down on Pompey out-of-contract 11

16/2/2015 (NEWS)  Pompey star Jack Whatmough and former goalkeeper Alan Knight have pledged their support for a five kilometre community run in May, which will be raising funds for the Pompey in the Community charity for their projects. The Pompey People's Run launch took place on Monday at Fratton Park.  Pictured is: (l-r) Organiser of Pompey People's Run Jim Cowan, Pompey legend Alan Knight and Pompey FC player Jack Whatmough at the launch.   Picture: Sarah Standing (150280-7958) PPP-150216-175339001
16/2/2015 (NEWS) Pompey star Jack Whatmough and former goalkeeper Alan Knight have pledged their support for a five kilometre community run in May, which will be raising funds for the Pompey in the Community charity for their projects. The Pompey People's Run launch took place on Monday at Fratton Park. Pictured is: (l-r) Organiser of Pompey People's Run Jim Cowan, Pompey legend Alan Knight and Pompey FC player Jack Whatmough at the launch. Picture: Sarah Standing (150280-7958) PPP-150216-175339001
Milan Lalkovic in pre-season action against the Hawks

Pompey winger set for return against Walsall

  • Wait continues for 11 Pompey players who are next month out of contract
  • Paul Cook’s Chesterfield’s play-off semi-final second leg kicks of on Sunday at 12.15pm
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COME 2pm on Sunday, futures should become a little clearer.

Certainly for the 11 players stranded in limbo, their Pompey careers could depend on the outcome.

All eyes are on the culmination of the League One play-off semi-final second leg between Chesterfield and Preston, intriguingly involving top Blues target Paul Cook.

Elimination for the Spireites would theoretically leave the way clear for Pompey to pursue their interest in the 48-year-old. Providing the buy-out clause can be brokered, of course.

In the meantime, there is a football team worth of players nervously awaiting the identity of the new man at the Fratton helm.

Contracts for the majority of the 11 officially end on June 30, yet they will be eager to learn their fate one way or the other as soon as possible.

For Ryan Taylor, in particular, there are rival offers on the table to tempt, among them Oxford United.

The 10-goal striker missed the final three matches with a groin injury, nonetheless still enjoyed an excellent campaign, winning over a number of fans in the process.

And it is that form which has attracted the attention of fellow League Two clubs, potentially stepping in front of Pompey in the contract queue.

Wes Fogden is another interesting situation, with the club possessing an option to extend his contract, which is expiring.

Activating that would not require the player’s permission, however they would have to offer comparable wages.

Considering Fogden’s injury record, they may opt to instead instigate a completely new deal on a lower pay package, albeit the player could decline.

Interestingly, the former Bournemouth midfielder didn’t start any of Gary Waddock’s matches in caretaker charge, serving as an unused substitute in the final two.

Joe Devera enjoyed a consistent season in terms of performances and first-team presence and is another to have changed opinion.

Only Paul Jones and Jed Wallace made more Pompey starts than Devera this season, while his versatility has seen him occupy the troublesome right-back slot on occasions.

Whether a fresh manager would like to keep him remains to be seen. Elsewhere, the club have long been negotiating with representatives of Dan Butler and Adam Webster in a bid to avoid a situation where they lose out on potential compensation should they exit.

Considering Webster’s outstanding end to the season in his favoured central defensive role, he must now surely be kept at all costs.

Similarly Ben Close has shone during starts in the final three matches and is a player Waddock will recommend the club extends his deal which expires next month.

Emsworth-based forward Bradley Tarbuck is another home-grown youngster who impressed on loan at Dorchester and made two appearances this season.

However, Tom Craddock, Ben Chorley, Nicky Shorey and Danny East will definitely depart.

Just who joins them could well start to emerge from Sunday afternoon.