Connolly to pledge Pompey future

09/03/13''Portsmouth take on Bury in their League Division One tussle at Fratton Park. David Connolly celebrates his first goal.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves  (13689-25)
09/03/13''Portsmouth take on Bury in their League Division One tussle at Fratton Park. David Connolly celebrates his first goal.'Picture: Ian Hargreaves (13689-25)
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David Connolly will today provide Pompey fans with another major boost by signing a permanent deal.

The 35-year-old is expected at Fratton Park to put pen to paper as Guy Whittingham’s squad strengthening continues.

Blues supporters have been desperate for the veteran striker to become the latest to pledge his future to the club.

Connolly has made a massive impression since arriving in January, netting seven times in 17 matches.

His all-round displays have established him as a firm Fratton favourite and a striker capable of firing Pompey out of League Two.

Now an agreement has been reached for him to extend his stay on the south coast.

The News understands Connolly will primarily be a player in the Blues set-up under Whittingham. However, there will be opportunities to coach youngsters, with the former Republic of Ireland international keen to further that part of his experience.

He will not, though, be the Pompey manager’s new assistant.

Developments on that front are expected soon as Whittingham closes in on finalising his backroom make-up.

He has been left without an assistant since Andy Awford opted to return to his role as Pompey Academy manager at the season’s end.

An outcome on Johnny Ertl’s Fratton future is also in the pipeline.

The Pompey captain is scheduled to return from three weeks backpacking in the Philippines this weekend.

Whittingham will then step up negotiations, with the midfielder largely uncontactable during his time in south-east Asia.

The Blues are also still striving to complete a deal for a right-winger who has been in talks with the club during the past week.

Progress has been steady as Whittingham seeks to wrap up a move before he heads off on holiday for two weeks on Monday.

So far this week, Andy Barcham is the only new face to arrive after the previous fortnight’s flurry of player recruitment.

In the meantime, Connolly will become player number 12 to have signed a permanent contract with the Blues this summer. In doing so, the striker joins this season’s team-mates – Dan Butler, Patrick Agyemang, Yassin Moutaouakil and Phil Smith.

Connolly will also team up with the seven new recruits of John Sullivan, Joe Devera, Tom Craddock, Sonny Bradley, Danny East, Romain Padovani and Barcham.

The trio of Jed Wallace, Adam Webster and Ashley Harris were the only players under contract when the campaign ended.

Including Connolly’s anticipated signature, at present Whittingham has a squad of 15.

The Pompey manager has often spoke of assembling a set-up of 18 players – with the development group on top of that.