New faces head Pompey’s pre-season kick-off

From left: Danny Rose, Michael Smith and Gary Roberts are put through their paces as Pompey reported back for pre-season training today Picture: Ian Hargreaves
From left: Danny Rose, Michael Smith and Gary Roberts are put through their paces as Pompey reported back for pre-season training today Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Pompey goalkeeper Luke McGee Picture: Joe Pepler

What we learnt from Pompey defeat to Rovers

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Pompey today launched their latest League Two promotion bid as pre-season kicked off.

Paul Cook’s new-look squad were back in training following their summer break.

A total of six fresh faces were on view at the Blues’ training ground, in addition to triallist Roarie Deacon.

And after a brief spell in the gym, they were sent out for a running session along the Fareham Creek Trail from Wicor Rec in Portchester.

Assistant manager Leam Richardson put a squad of 22 players through their paces in humid conditions along the picturesque route.

Those today present included new recruits Carl Baker, Drew Talbot, Milan Lalkovic, Danny Rose and Michael Smith.

However, fellow summer signing Matt Clarke was sidelined by the groin problem which troubled him at the end of last season.

Also absent from participating were transfer-listed trio Matt Tubbs, Adam McGurk and Kal Naismith, who had initially turned up along with the rest of their team-mates.

Pompey are desperate to offload all three, although interest has been frustratingly sparse during the close season.

An interesting presence, though, was Deacon, who is a free agent following 40 appearances and five goals with Crawley last term.

Cook will continue to cast his eye over the attacker, who represented England under-19s earlier in his career.

Adding to the numbers were first-year professionals Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alex Bass, while Academy keeper Nick Hall also took part.

The Blues will be sending a first-team squad to Ireland on Monday for the start of a two-match tour.

They will face Sligo (July 6) and Bohemian (July 9) in their opening friendlies of the pre-season.