Marlon Pack admitted he had to leave his hometown club for the good of his career.
Pack signed a two-year deal with Cheltenham yesterday after being told he was not going to be retained by Pompey earlier this month.
That meant the 20-year-old’s dream of making it at the club he supports came to an end.
The midfielder, from Buckland, spoke of his disappointment at that decision, but knows he had to move on to establish himself in the game.
Pack said: ‘I would like to have done more in a Pompey shirt and got my chance.
‘But that’s football and it happens.
‘I’ve been at Pompey since I was eight. I’ve been a season ticket holder in the Premier League and used to go home and away.
‘So, of course, it was hard leaving being a Pompey fan, but the manager made it clear I wasn’t going to play.
‘I’ve been here a long time, but I’ve matured a bit and maybe I had to realise it was not the be all and end all.
‘It’s disappointing because playing for Portsmouth was my dream, but I did get the chance to do that.
‘I’m grateful for the appearances I made.’
Pack admitted he was relieved to have secured a move to League Two Cheltenham, where he enjoyed a loan spell last season.
He said: ‘I’ve been lucky enough to have a side like Cheltenham come in for me.
‘I’ve done enough for them to want to sign me permanently.
‘There are so many footballers out there who are free agents and are looking for clubs. There are good players without a club, so it’s good to get it wrapped up.’