Pompey’s Bass set to face his employers

Alex Bass will line up against Pompey tonight for Bognor after playing in goal for the Blues in the same pre-season fixture last year   Picture: Chris Hatton

Alex Bass will line up against Pompey tonight for Bognor after playing in goal for the Blues in the same pre-season fixture last year Picture: Chris Hatton

Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Alex Bass is set to face his employers in tonight’s Bognor clash.

The goalkeeper is presently a second-year scholar with Pompey’s Academy having risen through the ranks.

Yet he is pencilled in to represent the Rocks in this evening’s visit of Paul Cook’s side to Nyewood Lane (7.30pm).

Bognor boss Jamie Howell is searching for a new keeper following the summer departure of last season’s regular number one Chris Winterton.

As a result, they are casting their eye over Bass as a potential replacement, utilising the close relationship with Pompey.

Bass turned out for the Rocks in Monday’s 2-2 draw with the Hawks, featuring for 56 minutes before he was replaced by Anthony Ender.

He is set to be given another run out against the Blues tonight as Howell weighs up whether to take him on loan.

The 17-year-old remains one of a number of options for the non-league side as they assess their squad ahead of the new league campaign.

Although not having yet played for Pompey’s first-team, Bass was named as a substitute goalkeeper four times last season.

He was called up to serve on the bench in the injury absence of Michael Poke during two different periods of the campaign.

A pre-season injury to Poke also opened the door for the youngster to step up and feature in two of last summer’s friendlies under Andy Awford.

Coincidentally, his first appearance arrived against the Rocks in Pompey’s victory in July 2014.

Replacing Paul Jones on 59 minutes, the youngster looked confident and comfortable in his maiden senior outing.

The visitors ran out 6-1 winners in the Nyewood Lane fixture with Ryan Taylor, Miles Storey, Danny Hollands, Bradley Tarbuck, Andy Barcham and Jed Wallace all netting.

Of those scorers, only Hollands presently remains at the club following Cook’s large-scale overhaul since his arrival.

Bass also featured as a 76th-minute substitute in the subsequent 2-0 win at Thurrock, again coming on for Jones.

Pompey loaning Academy players to the Rocks has been a regular occurrence in recent years as they seek to get more first-team experience into their youngsters.

Last season Chad Field, Snorre Nilsen and Brandon Haunstrup all spent time with Howell’s squad – now the trio are first-year professionals at Fratton Park.

Nilsen featured the most out of the trio with eight appearances, Field was selected three times and Haunstrup played once.

Now Howell is mulling over whether they will take on Bass in the forthcoming campaign.

Ticket prices for tonight’s game are priced £10 for adults and £3 for under-18s.

Pompey travel to Gosport tomorrow (3pm) for another friendly.

GOSPORT BOROUGH v POMPEY PREVIEW n Page 65

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