Magri skipper role was ‘for Pompey fans’

The Pompey team, including captain Sam Magri - back row, third from right, line up before the match with Gibraltar   Picture: John Shephard

The Pompey team, including captain Sam Magri - back row, third from right, line up before the match with Gibraltar Picture: John Shephard

Gary Roberts Picture: Joe Pepler

Roberts: Pompey have handled heat - can title chasers?

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Sam Magri was made Pompey captain last night as a gesture to Blues fans.

The 18-year-old was surprisingly made skipper for the friendly at Gibraltar.

Partnering Adam Webster in the heart of the Blues defence, the Fratton youngster couldn’t prevent his side suffering a desperately-disappointing 4-0 defeat.

However, the sight of seeing a Portsmouth born-and-bred player lead the Blues meant something to many. Especially with warning emerging earlier in the day that the club could be liquidated before the season starts if senior players don’t reach compromise agreements.

And the significance of giving the armband to Magri didn’t escape Michael Appleton.

The Blues boss said: ‘With Sam being a local lad, one of the actual true Pompey players, and the fact there was a good crowd and following, I thought it was a nice touch to give him the captaincy.

‘Why not? It had not been a great day for the football club so why not give the opportunity to a local boy? I didn’t give him time to react before the game, I just threw the band at him.

‘He had a really, really poor night but, at the end of the day, he is going to have better ones and going to have much worse than that and he knows that.

‘He will be fine and recover quickly and will move on.’

Magri missed out of Pompey’s pre-season last year, with shin splints sidelining him for the tour to America.

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