Pompey Academy search for new skipper is under way

Pompey Academy defender Ousman Saidy   Picture: Neil Marshall

Pompey Academy defender Ousman Saidy Picture: Neil Marshall

Loyalty set to be Cook’s Pompey policy in League One

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Pompey Academy are on the lookout for a new skipper and Mikey Harris is willing to give opportunities to those who want to inherit the armband.

Calvin Davies is the current youth-team captain but the right-back, who is out on loan at Bognor, will hand over duties in the summer when his tw0-year scholarship comes to an end.

He is chasing a bigger prize in the form of a professional contract.

And under-18s boss Harris is happy to use the remainder of his side’s Merit League One campaign for potential replacements to state their claim.

That casts the spotlight on the Blues’ batch of first-year scholars who will become the senior figures in the Academy next term.

And after Theo Widdrington donned the armband in a friendly at Barnet earlier this month, defensive partner Ousman Saidy – nicknamed Obi – skippered the side for the first time in last weekend’s 10-goal thriller at AFC Wimbledon.

‘I gave Obi the armband,’ said Harris.

‘Fair play to him, he has been very much putting himself forward for opportunities to lead.

‘He wants to be a leader.

‘Theo was made captain in the game before at Barnet.

‘It’s just an opportunity again for some of the first-year scholars to get the armband on early and see how they react to it.

‘It’s great for them to have the chance to do that.

‘We hope to do that now with a few more of the first-year scholars before the end of the season.

‘We are looking at first-year boys who we think might step up for the captaincy in the second year.

‘Obviously, youth-team captain is quite an honour.’

The first-year scholars will not simply be taking it in turns, though, with some better suited to the job than others.

‘I wouldn’t say all of the first-year scholars are taking it in turns to wear the armband,’ said Harris.

‘There are players who will naturally lend themselves to being leaders and players who will lend themselves to being followers.

‘There is nothing wrong with either one.

‘For us it is about making sure we speak to the lads, and with our knowledge of them and their knowledge of themselves, seeing what they are comfortable with and capable of doing.’

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