No place like Pompey for rumour-favourite Butler

Blues youngster Dan Butler has signed a new two-year deal at Fratton Park after making 18 first-team appearances in his debut season
Blues youngster Dan Butler has signed a new two-year deal at Fratton Park after making 18 first-team appearances in his debut season
Dion Donohue. Picture: Colin Farmery

New boy’s bitter-sweet Pompey experience

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Internet rumours and whispering tittle-tattle declaring his imminent Pompey departure proved to be greatly exaggerated.

Not that Dan Butler would have considered joining Premier League giants and Champions League regulars Manchester City.

This week the Isle of Wight youngster penned a new two-year deal to remain at the club he has been connected with since the age of nine.

There was a time, however, towards the end of the season when the jungle drums were beating out the name Man City with regularity.

It’s a connection which was swiftly shot down by an amused Butler, who found his team-mates ribbing him on the issue.

The 18-year-old sprang to prominence this season with 18 appearances as he burst on to the first-team scene at left-back following a loan spell at the Hawks.

Frequent football for Pompey was what he had long dreamed of, and with a fresh two-year contract, there is going to be plenty more.

And if the rumours had been true, Butler is adamant he was never going to throw it away to spend years in the Etihad Stadium reserves.

He said: ‘I didn’t think about leaving at all. I am only 18 and have just played quite a few games for Pompey.

‘I could not turn down the chance to hopefully play even more next season!

‘I would be silly if I rejected the chance to play League Two regularly. It’s football and I’m a footballer who wants to play.

‘There were a lot of rumours going around, like there is with every young player, I suppose. But there was not any interest that I know of. I have never had anyone tell me another club has come in for me.

‘I just saw it on the internet and it got to a stage where I would look at it and forget about it.

‘I got a little bit of stick from Ricky (Ricardo Rocha) and Therry Racon about the Manchester City link but it was just a bit of banter.

‘I am sure I would have heard about it properly and not just on the internet.

‘The internet is dangerous, there are a lot of rumours on there and people can create fake accounts to say all sorts.

‘Even if they did want me, I would not go there because there is no chance to play in the first-team.

‘(Former Blues loanee) Karim Rekik is a very good player and he is still nowhere near. I just want to play games and staying here to do it means everything to me.

‘I feel I’ve played enough under-21 games and reserves and loans – I wouldn’t want to go somewhere else and be back doing that again. That’s not me.

‘Anyone who wants to go to do that rather than play regularly would be making a big mistake.’

Butler is one of nine players to have pledged their futures to Pompey in the past few weeks.

Whittingham’s squad is developing encouragingly and the youngster was delighted to commit long-term.

He added: ‘I’m really happy to have signed, I feel like a lot of weight has come off my shoulders.

‘I went on holiday to Egypt after the season finished and it was all I was thinking about!

‘I never thought I wasn’t going to sign, but it was always at the back of my mind.’