Haunstrup’s back and ready to play

Brandon Haunstrup, centre. Picture: Joe Pepler
Brandon Haunstrup, centre. Picture: Joe Pepler
The under-repair South stand will not be used for the Bournemouth friendly. Picture: Colin Farmery

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He’s one of Pompey’s bright, young things.

The problem is he’s got one of the club’s most consistent performers in front of him.

That means first-team opportunities have been at a premium for promising left-back Brandon Haunstrup.

Not that the lad from Waterlooville is complaining.

Haunstrup is hungry for playing time and open to the suggestion of a loan period away from Fratton Park to achieve it.

The 19-year-old picked up five appearances last term – with three of them arriving in front of decent crowds – at home against Reading and Derby in the Capital One Cup and the final-day league clash with Northampton

After recovering from a shoulder injury, Haunstrup was given his first senior game time against Reading under-23s this week.

Now the chase is on for more minutes.

Haunstrup said: ‘It’s about playing and getting minutes under my belt coming back from injury. I’m just focusing on getting football and getting minutes.

‘There’s nothing like match fitness.

‘I just want to get as many games as possible. I’m 19 and need games. It’s great being involved with the first team. There’s nothing like it.

‘There’s nothing like playing in front of the crowds at Fratton Park.

‘There’s nowhere else like it.

‘You don’t get it anywhere else at this level of football.’

The problem for Haunstrup, however, is there an immovable object called Enda Stevens in front of him.

Stevens played in all but the final league game of last season and has carried on in the same vein this term.

Haunstrup said: ‘My target is to work as hard as I can and try to get a position here.

‘I’m trying my hardest, even if Enda is a very good player.

‘There’s a good player in front of me but that’s football. You have to deal with it.

‘I’ve learnt so much from him in training and in games.

‘He’s one of the most consistent players we’ve got.

‘That’s something I have to be if I get my chance.’

Haunstrup is enjoying his education at Pompey but that doesn’t mean he isn’t open to developing his game away from Fratton Park – an attitude in contrast to some of his young predecessors down the years.

He said: ‘I’d go on loan – massively.

‘I need to be playing. I need some first-team football. I need a consistent taste of it.

‘But that’s obviously the gaffer’s decision.

‘I’m happy with whatever he says.

‘I want to keep learning and take every opportunity to get myself out there.

‘I’m still young. I’m just looking to play and get games.

‘At the end of the day, I just love football.

‘I love playing and that’s what I want to do.’