Pearce banking on third time lucky for Pompey career

Jason Pearce is hoping for third time lucky Picture: JOE PEPLER
Jason Pearce is hoping for third time lucky Picture: JOE PEPLER
Pompey manager Kenny Jackett Picture: Joe Pepler

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Jason Pearce is banking on a case of third time lucky to make his Pompey mark.

Firstly he was released, then he was sold.

Now the 23-year-old is back at Fratton Park for opportunity number three.

And this time around he is desperate to be a hit at the club which holds such a special place in his heart.

The youngster from Fleet first landed on the south coast in 2000 after being spotted starring for Mychett Athletic.

Several years later he was shown the door on account of ‘not being good enough’ and returned home heartbroken.

The great survivor was lured back less than 12 months on after the club admitted it had made a mistake.

He went on to secure a 12-month professional contract in 2006 after Dave Hurst spotted his immense potential.

But during that time, Pearce didn’t even feature in a pre-season friendly.

The closest he came was as an unused substitute in a game at Dorchester in August 2006, a match the Blues won 3-1.

Subsequently, his second exit came in 2007 following a successful loan spell at Bournemouth.

It was a nominal deal which crucially included a 50-per-cent sell-on clause rather than a transfer fee.

Roll on July 2011 and the central defender is back in familiar surroundings.

And he intends to make the most of his latest chance.

He said: ‘Hopefully you can call this third time lucky.

‘I’ve been and gone from Fratton Park a few times in my career.

‘They first brought me here in 2000 after I was spotted playing for my local team Mychett Athletic.

‘That was great – but then I got released a couple of years later when I was about 14.

‘I was told I wasn’t considered good enough.

‘So I went back to Fleet and was happy enough to play for Mychett again, I enjoyed the football.

‘Then Pompey brought me back. They said they made a mistake.

‘So I had another two years as an apprentice and then Dave Hurst put me on a professional contract.

‘I went on loan to Woking for a year and Pompey offered me another contract.

‘Harry (Redknapp) also told me it would do me good to go out on loan to Bournemouth.

‘I looked at them and they looked at me and it became a permanent deal.

‘I suppose I’ve gone through a lot in my career but now I am back at Fratton and it feels great.’

It was during his second Pompey spell that Pearce struck up a close friendship with Asmir Begovic.

The paired shared digs along with another promising youngster, Phil Cousins, in North End at the house of Janet Hannon.

Pearce still keeps in touch with the two footballers and attended Begovic’s wedding last year.

Meanwhile, it was Fratton Park which provided one of his most memorable moments in football.

He was sat in the south stand in April 2005 to witness the Lomana Lualua-inspired 4-1 demolition of Southampton.

And he is relishing renewing old acquaintances on his Fratton return.

Pearce added: ‘It is great to be back. I have already been to the training ground and still know quite a few people there.

‘As an apprentice I remember when Pompey played Southampton. All us young lads were sat in the corner of the south stand, right next to the visiting supporters.

‘It was brilliant occasion. I was still young and dreamed of playing in those sort of games.

‘A few of my mates are Pompey fans and have been asking for tickets since I’ve come back, but my family comes first.

‘They’ll just have to be patient, I’ll be here for a long time hopefully.’