Knight: Great Pompey pals are now hot stuff

Neil Sillett, left, and Adrian Whitbread are enjoying success with Puerto Rico FC
Neil Sillett, left, and Adrian Whitbread are enjoying success with Puerto Rico FC
Milan Lalkovic celebrates his goal at Newport. Picture: Neil Marshall

Free-scoring Pompey’s slice of pre-season history

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It’s a tough life for a couple of my old pals at the moment.

My mates Adie Whitbread and Neil Sillett are off in the Caribbean at present and enjoying success with Puerto Rico FC.

The News told the story on Saturday of how our former defender Whitbread has guided the side into their equivalent of the Champions League, with Sill his technical director.

I’ve been keeping in touch with both of them since they went there. I’ve perhaps spoken to Sill more than Adie, but there’s been WhatsApp messages flying backwards and forwards between us constantly,

It may be the Caribbean but it’s been a lot tougher for them than it sounds.

Despite that, they’ve had an interesting year and they’ve done fantastic things.

They literally started from nothing and got a decent run going after a tough start.

It’s a strangely-structured league and there is talk about the future of the North American Soccer League.

But they’ve done themselves a big favour with how they’ve conducted themselves, and their stock would’ve gone up around the Caribbean and US off the back of their success.

They’ve achieved a lot in a short space of time and I’m pleased with them because they’ve taken a risk going out there.

Adie was assistant to Colin Clarke at Puerto Rico Islanders and then head coach before they went bust.

He came back to England and was working at Barnet.

But then the basketball player, Carmelo Anthony, brought the franchise and got him back.

That gave the chance for Sill to go along, with our old physio already having contacts with Costa Rica.

It was a big thing to uproot so I’m glad both of them are doing well.

Sill is supposed to be heading back for Christmas and I’m looking forward to seeing the big man.

I had my time in America with FC Dallas and I know you have to work differently out there. The facilities can be sparse in comparison to here and you train early because of the heat.

I know Sill is up at 5am, in the office at six and looking to train at 7am or 8am.

They are both determined to be successes and it shows you the lengths they are prepared to go to achieve that.

It was a surprise to see another of my old team-mates, Martin Allen, make the move up the road to Eastleigh last week, too.

It was a little bit surprising – but you should never be surprised by Martin and what he can do sometimes!

Eastleigh are clearly desperate to get into the league and I can see Mad Dog achieving that with them.