Former Pompey left-back could make Welsh reunion

Dan Butler is bidding for a return to face Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
Dan Butler is bidding for a return to face Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler
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Dan Butler is bidding for a Pompey Boxing Day reunion after earning a second shot at the Football League.

The left-back is back in League Two having been snapped up by Newport County in the summer.

The Rodney Parade club host the Blues on Boxing Day, throwing up the possibility of Butler lining-up against his former club.

Firstly, though, the 22-year-old must reclaim the starting spot he lost at the start of this month.

Instead winger Jennison Myrie-Williams has dropped back to serve in an unfamiliar left-back role, earning instant praise from boss Graham Westley.

Newport tomorrow night entertain Plymouth in an FA Cup second-round replay and it remains to be seen whether Butler finds a way back into the match-day 18.

That represents the final fixture before former club Pompey’s visit to South Wales, an occasion the youngster will be desperate to make.

Butler departed Fratton Park in the summer of 2015 after climbing through the ranks to make 54 first-team appearances.

The Isle of Wight youngster earned a reputation as a committed, whole-hearted performer and one of the fittest members of the Blues’ squad.

However, after Pompey recorded their lowest Football League finish courtesy of a 16th placing in the 2014-15 campaign, he was not retained.

Butler dropped into the National League, where he rebuilt his career with Torquay United, missing only one match during their successful fight against relegation.

On occasions operating as a left midfielder, his displays alerted a number of clubs and was soon back in the Football League following 12 months away.

Despite Torquay offering a new Plainmoor deal, in June 2016 he opted to link-up with Newport on a two-year contract.

However, the manager who recruited him, Warren Feeney, was dismissed in October with the Exiles rooted to the bottom of the table with only one win.

He was replaced by Westley and, following 24 appearances, Butler has subsequently slipped out of favour.

The left-back was substituted at half-time during a 2-0 defeat to Stevenage earlier this month, then didn’t make the squad in last weekend’s 3-1 loss at Crawley.

Butler made his Pompey first-team bow alongside Jed Wallace and Sam Magri in an August 2012 Capital One Cup tie at Plymouth.

Michael Appleton’s youthful side also contained Adam Webster and Ashley Harris, with Jack Whatmough an unused sub.

The arrival as Guy Whittingham as caretaker boss saw him become a regular during a campaign which produced relegation from League One.

In the 2014-15 season, Butler made 34 appearances, yet at the end was deemed surplus to requirements.