Keeper set for return with reserves

Pompey keeper Michael Poke Picture: Sarah Standing

Pompey keeper Michael Poke Picture: Sarah Standing

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MICHAEL POKE is set to return to action as Pompey reserves mark their comeback.

And the Blues keeper will be joined by Patrick Agyemang and a host of other senior players in need of playing time at Peterborough.

The second string take on the Posh at their training ground today (2pm kick-off).

It’s a chance for those who didn’t feature in the 2-0 defeat at Burton Albion on Sunday to gain some playing time.

And those who were given brief run outs at the Pirelli Stadium could also feature.

Agyemang, Dan Butler, Joe Devera, Adam Webster, Ben Close, Andy Barcham and Jack Maloney are all likely to be involved.

And it’s an opportunity for Poke to finally gain some action after recovering from an Achilles injury.

Blues boss Andy Awford said: ‘The reserve game is good for players who haven’t had enough minutes. Most of those who were on the bench Sunday will play.

‘Those who have been on the fringes can play.

‘Pokey (Michael Poke) probably needs a game.

‘It gives us an opportunity, so, when the players are called upon, they are match fit.

‘You can get a couple of kids in with them to give them good experience.

‘For me, it works.’

Awford explained the football authorities have listened to clubs when it comes to amending rules over reserve football.

And that has made its return a useful tool for clubs like Pompey.

He said: ‘The league have responded to the issues we had with the reserve league as clubs.

‘That’s why it got scrapped. So we spoke as coaches and managers.

‘One of the things we said was why can a player out on loan not play for us when he hasn’t got a game? So that’s the rule they’ve allowed.

‘They used to make it difficult for triallists. They had to be registered hours before. People would play ringers.

‘Now you can sign on an hour-and-a-half before the game. The ref signs it off.

‘You had to have a certain amount of seats at the ground. We said why can’t we just play at the training ground? The pitches are much better.

‘They’ve listened, which is good.’

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