No regrets on ripping up Celtic deal for Thompson

Pompey defender Josh Thompson
Pompey defender Josh Thompson
Matty Kennedy. Picture: Joe Pepler

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A year’s contract with Scottish giants and Champions League hopefuls Celtic or a month-long deal and the current uncertainty of life at Pompey?

For Josh Thompson, the decision was a no-brainer.

Money was never a motivating factor for the 21-year-old as he secured his move to Fratton Park at the close of the August transfer window.

But the opportunity of finding regular first-team football certainly was as he made the long move from Glasgow to the south coast.

Thompson still had another year left on his deal at Parkhead but, after falling down the pecking order under manager Neil Lennon, the England under-19 international decided it was time for a fresh challenge.

With loan rules for sides outside of England preventing Thompson from joining for a month, that led to him ripping up his Celtic deal to make his move to Fratton Park a reality.

Aberdeen were keen on the Bolton-born defender but, after a summer on trial with the Blues, there was only one place he wanted to carve out his trade.

And Thompson was prepared to make the sacrifices to ensure the switch took place.

He said: ‘I enjoyed my time at Celtic but the opportunity was too good to turn down to play for Portsmouth.

‘If that meant I had to rip up my contract at Celtic, then that’s what I had to do.

‘I had a year left on my contract but I felt I wanted a fresh challenge.

‘If I was 10 years down the line and I was coming to the end of my career, then I might have been a bit more worried.

‘But I’m 21 years old and I’m purely motivated to play football.

‘If things hadn’t worked out here, I’m sure I could have got myself another contract somewhere else.

‘But I feel good about the place and I wouldn’t have come here if I didn’t.

‘Whether it is month to month or a longer contract, I’m not really interested in that.

‘If I’m out on the training pitch, I’m improving as a player and I’ve got a chance to play at the weekend for a big club like this, then I’m happy.

‘We all know it’s complicated with how things are at the minute at the club.

‘But you see the ground pretty much full and the atmosphere there and you know it’s a proper club.

‘I want to be a part of that going forward.’

Thompson made his first appearance for Pompey in the pre-season clash at Aldershot after arriving on trial. After that, composed outings followed in the friendly wins against Bolton and AFC Wimbledon.

Those performances made a mark with Michael Appleton, who was well aware of Thompson after a period on trial at West Brom when the Pompey boss was coach there.

He has now started the past two games since completing his month-long move to the Blues.

Appleton’s philosophies have been clear to Thompson since he worked with him at the Hawthorns – and that has told him what he can expect this season.

Thompson said: ‘I trained at West Brom for a week a few years ago and he (Appleton) was there at the time.

‘It was only a few days but I liked the environment there.

‘I was expecting the same now that he is the manager of Portsmouth and I was right.

‘As a player you want to see how a team plays on the pitch and how they train and I came down over the summer and loved it straight away.

‘Now we are all looking forward to helping the club make progress.’