Left is so right for versatile Barcham

Pompey defender Adam Webster, centre, tries his hardest to stop Andy Barcham during their match-up at Glanford Park in February Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey defender Adam Webster, centre, tries his hardest to stop Andy Barcham during their match-up at Glanford Park in February Picture: Joe Pepler
Former Pompey striker Yakubu has retired from football. Picture: Mic Young

Former Pompey striker announces retirement

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A rarity at Fratton Park, a rarity in football. Nonetheless, Andy Barcham is aiming for his unique flank talents to rip up League Two.

The 26-year-old is a left-winger, yet is naturally right-footed.

It’s certainly not a sight commonplace in the English game – a largely unusual characteristic noted by Pompey’s new arrival himself.

Ashley Young may have made his name at Aston Villa, Manchester United and England occupying such a role, but it is not a regular occurrence in football.

Then again, it has been long since the Fratton faithful were thrilled by a genuine pacy and direct wide man.

Most recently, loanee Nathaniel Mendez-Laing promised so much on his debut against Doncaster – and never delivered again.

Now there is a right-footed player who occupies the left wing in recent recruit Barcham.

And he is hoping to warm the crowd with his footballing style.

Barcham said: ‘I am a left-winger but am actually right-footed, so I like to cut inside and shoot.

‘I can kick with my left foot so I’m obviously able to go down the line as well. I have mainly played on the left, though.

‘People are doing it more and more these days.

‘If you have the option to go both sides I think it helps because it’s hard to play against if they (defenders) don’t know which way to show you.

‘I have always played there, I just find it more comfortable. I am not even sure why.

‘I do like to have a shot at goal but at the same time I have been raised to try to use both feet so I can go down the line as well.

‘I can use my left foot, though. Sometimes I do it too much, perhaps. When I have a better chance to shoot I tend to favour my left even though it’s not my strong foot!

‘It’s just a weird one. It’s what I have always played but I see it as a bonus, really.

‘If I can go both ways, it must be hard for defenders to go against. Usually you get told to show them down the line or show them in but if I can go both ways that can help me.

‘I like to use my pace as well and get at players. That is obviously what I am going to try to do – link with the front men and try to score a few goals, as well.

‘If I can see an opportunity to get at a man, I don’t usually turn it down. That’s what I like to do first and foremost. I’m probably really old school, I like to get at the players.

‘And looking at Fratton Park, it seems like a great pitch for a winger. I cannot wait to play out there, to be honest.’

Barcham arrives on the south coast following spells at Gillingham and then Scunthorpe.

But it was at Spurs where he began his career, rising through the ranks.

Now he is playing League Two football – a level he left when he ventured to Glanford Park two years ago.

‘I support Spurs through my dad and was lucky enough when about seven to get scouted when playing for my team. I was there until I left to go to Gillingham,’ said Barcham.

‘It was a great way to be brought up playing football. How Spurs coached and developed me as a player was fantastic and obviously supporting them as well was a bonus.

‘I played one first-team game, too!’