Devera central to Pompey’s future

New Pompey signing Joe Devera at Fratton Park
New Pompey signing Joe Devera at Fratton Park
Pompey's Gareth Evans. Picture: Joe Pepler

Evans: Player talk has lifted Pompey form

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Joe Devera has revealed he has received Pompey assurances he will serve as a central defender next season.

The 25-year-old played regularly at right-back for Swindon this season, including both games in the Robins’ League One play-off semi-final.

The versatile performer also operated at left-back on two occasions to demonstrate his usefulness to the side.

Yet it is in the centre of defence he prefers – a role he featured in during Swindon’s 2011-12 League Two promotion campaign.

It is also a position Guy Whittingham has identified for Devera in his Blues side for next season.

And for Devera, it is entirely what he wanted to hear.

He said: ‘My preferred position is at centre-half, but I can fill in at right-back as well.

‘It has come about through injuries to other people, really. I just had to fill in this season.

‘I started the campaign at right-back, making 10-15 appearances, then spent most of the rest of my games at centre-half.

‘I played a couple of games at left-back as well for Swindon.

‘I wouldn’t say I am a natural left-back but I can pretty much cover all slots.

‘I prefer it in the centre of defence, though, and have received assurances about that at Pompey.

‘It’s not new to me, I was centre-half at Barnet for years

‘I just find it easier to read the game at centre-half. It’s a bit more natural for myself to be in a central role, I feel I can lead a bit more.’

Whittingham has identified Devera to battle for a central-defensive spot with Adam Webster and Sonny Bradley.

The Blues have also continued to leave the door open for either Sam Sodje or Ricardo Rocha.

Yassin Moutaouakil is anticipated to be right-back, with Dan Butler on the other flank to complete the Pompey back four.

And Devera is relishing returning for duty with his new team-mates on June 27.

He added: ‘I’m looking forward to getting started.

‘I’m going to enjoy my break now because, now this has all been sorted out, I can relax and go on holiday and enjoy it.

‘Then I’ll be ready to work for pre-season.’