Eisner vision for Pompey Academy excites Harris

Michael Eisner. Picture: Neil Marshall
Michael Eisner. Picture: Neil Marshall
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Mikey Harris is relishing a potential chance of working with Michael Eisner to develop Pompey’s Academy.

But the Blues coach still believes the current system in operation can still have success if the investment does not come to fruition.

The American billionaire met with Pompey Supporters’ Trust members on Thursday in Portsmouth Guildhall to outline his Blues vision.

Eisner, a former Disney CEO, discussed his plans about the future of Fratton Park and the reason why he wants a new Pompey crest.

Another key focus he paid attention to was building up the academy.

He used the example of 1993 T.V. programme The Mickey Mouse Club he put together at Disney.

It featured global stars such as Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and Ryan Gosling, all of who have went on to be even more successful as adults.

Eisner envisioned the Blues’ junior ranks in the same way, as he made it clear he was not prepared to continually pour money into the club if trust members’ do vote in favour of his bid.

And Harris revealed he was impressed by the New Yorker.

He said: ‘We feel in the academy that we’ve had a level of success over the years.

‘Anything that is going to develop and bring that forward is going to be helpful. What he said is obviously what we wanted to hear.

‘We will wait with interest to see what happens and then we’ll go from there. Nothing is sorted or done. We have to wait and then sit down with the people in charge.’

Harris emphatically led Pompey under-23s to the semi-final of the Premier League Cup this season.

Despite being in the competition from the first qualifying round in August, the Blues beat Everton, Norwich and Sheffield United.

They played Swansea on Monday in the last-four.

Pompey matched their opponents for 90 minutes and held the Swans to a stalemate, but lost 3-0 after extra time.

Harris was delighted with the performance and believes the academy can continue to succeed the way it is operated, despite only being rated Category Three

‘I’ve made no secret about the need for a process or a pathway from the under-18s until the under-23s.

‘The Premier League Cup this season has shown us what we’ve got in that age group.’

‘Do we need to go to Category One? I don’t think so.

‘Longer term, that will be a goal but I think we can remain a category three and still have success.

‘Long term you’d be looking at Category Two and then One.’