The dream of turning out for Pompey is set to become a reality for a host of aspiring talents.
The second round of futsal trials took place on Saturday at the PlayFootball Centre in Hilsea, and the Blues have now successfully recruited a host of players to join their ground-breaking initiative.
Pompey are set to link up with a southern regional league in September after becoming one of eight clubs chosen to take part.
That means the scholars will get the chance to be involved in an academy set-up while also following an academic programme.
Eleven of the 17 places open have now been filled, with footballers from across the south queuing up to get in on the action.
Local faces Ryan Revill, Chad Jackson, Lewis Kilford and Andrew Hind have all been selected, along with Gosport’s Jake Wheelwright.
Pompey community development centre pair Rob Shaw and Zach Atkins will now wear their club’s shirt in competitive action.
And Brighton centre of excellence trio Bradley Lewis, Will Hendon and James Ampleford will add further quality, along with Littlehampton’s Dan McIlwain.
Pompey Sports & Education Foundation area manager Craig Pearce is excited about the potential for the futsal set-up.
And he’s been pleased to see players from far and wide come to have their shot at being selected.
Pearce said: ‘The trials have gone really well. We have had loads of applicants come through the office now and we had extra players turning up on the day of the trials.
‘They have come from everywhere. We’ve had people travel from Bournemouth and Brighton and a few came down from Alton.
‘Some of the applicants have come up just short on the academic side, which is a shame.
‘They have to have the right grades because the qualification is the equivalent to three A-Levels.
‘But we’ve had some great players get involved and that is pleasing.
‘We have made 100-per-cent offers to 11 people and there are a few more we have to make decisions on.
‘We have held an open evening to give the players and parents a rundown on the course and qualification they come out with.
‘And we’ve now had the trials which have been well attended.’
The futsal form of the game places heavy emphasis on technical ability and has seen greats like Cesc Fabregas and Cristiano Rondalo hone their skills.
Pearce feels the initiative will provide a great opportunity for players to proudly don the club’s shirt while also furthering their academic careers.
He said: ‘The players will be representing Portsmouth. They will be part of the training set-up and they will given all the training kit.
‘The only difference is they will have game day on a Wednesday and won’t be playing 11-a-side but in a futsal league.’
There are still some scholarship places in the scheme available.
For details, contact Victoria Link at the Pompey Sports & Education Foundation on (023) 9272 8899.