Mattock eager to send out footballing reminder

Joe Mattock
Joe Mattock
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The teenage prodigy and footballing whizz kid is still very much here.

Now Joe Mattock wants to use his Fratton Park opportunity to remind everyone of the youthful talents which saw him once tipped for massive things.

At the age of 17, the left-back became the second-youngest player to represent England under-21s, behind Theo Walcott.

As a teenager, Mattock was a regular in the Leicester side which clinched the League One title.

He later became an automatic choice for West Brom in their team which won promotion to the Championship.

Now aged 21, Mattock seems to have been around forever.

Yet he has failed to maintain the immense early promise which saw him represent England under-21s five times.

It has been 18 months since he last made a league appearance for the Baggies.

The Leicester-born defender spent the second half of last season on loan at Sheffield United.

Now Mattock’s at Pompey. And he is desperate to show the footballing world he is still a quality performer.

Mattock said: ‘Stephen Henderson has already told me it seems like I’ve been around for years.

‘He thought I was aged 25 or 26 – I suppose that’s the way it is.

‘I made my debut at Leicester when I was 16 and things have been a bit up and down since then.

‘I’ve been with the England under-21s from the age of 17, playing five games.

‘I had a good season with West Brom the first season. We got promoted and had a really good season that year.

‘It was a bit iffy the next season and then I went on loan to Sheffield United just after Christmas, for whom it was unfortunate to get relegated.

‘Now I want to show people – especially the people of Portsmouth while I am down here – what I can do and what I can do for the team.

‘I suppose there might be people out there who have forgotten about me. That’s why it’s great to get this opportunity.

‘I thought I was okay on Saturday. I did what I could, I put a lot of effort into the game but match fitness is a big key and that will come.

‘That’s just the start for me.

‘It’s fair to say I have been around a while, but I’m still only young.

‘I want to show people and I want to show Portsmouth fans what I can do.’

Mattock made his Leicester debut at the age of 16 years and 10 months.

That was against Norwich in April 2007.

He want on to establish himself in the Foxes side at left-back during the next two campaigns.

In 2008-09 he made 31 league appearances as Nigel Pearson’s men won the League One title.

Yet in August 2009, Mattock controversially moved to West Brom in a £1m deal.

He featured 29 times in the league that season as Roberto Di Matteo’s men finished runners-up to Newcastle.

However, since then appearances at The Hawthorns have been harder to come across.

Mattock is out of contract at the end of the current season.

And he’s hoping his Pompey stay can kickstart what is still a fledgling career.

He added: ‘I am here until January 2.

‘Hopefully I’ll stay a bit longer, maybe until the end of the season.

‘My contract is up in the summer, but my main objective is Portsmouth.

‘I want to work for Portsmouth FC. That is my job at the minute and that is my main objective.

‘I’m proud to be playing some games for Portsmouth.

‘It’s a great place and a great club.’