Pompey skipper applauds city training ground return

Pompey skipper Johnny Ertl. Picture: Allan Hutchings (123555-004)
Pompey skipper Johnny Ertl. Picture: Allan Hutchings (123555-004)
Plymouth Argyle's Remi Matthews. Picture: PA Images

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Johnny Ertl believes Pompey’s players should embrace training in the city once again.

Guy Whittingham is closing in on a new training base ahead of leaving the current site in Eastleigh at the end of the month.

It’s an exit driven by the need to cut costs but has been received well by many Blues followers.

Ertl is also convinced of the merits of a return to the area – after the club left HMS Collingwood in 2002.

And the Royal Navy pitches are among the options this time around.

For Pompey’s skipper, it would mean a longer journey each day from the Eastleigh club house he shares with Simon Eastwood, Gabor Gyepes and Frankie Sutherland.

But in terms of the community, he feels the move is essential.

He said: ‘At the moment, the training ground is in an SO postcode – surely it would be better for the community if it was in a PO postcode?

‘It is important the players get more feeling for the community and the people who support them every week.

‘In Eastleigh it takes us 30 minutes to go from the training ground to Portsmouth and that is wrong.

‘We should be part of the community.

‘There is great spirit at this football club and the players need to be part of that. They should get a feeling for the fans.

‘It would be good for us to move, just as long as the new training ground has a gym, canteen, rooms and good pitches.

‘What also is important is, as players, we are part of the community so you can build up your commitment to the club.

‘We have not been told where we are going but I’m sure Guy will find us somewhere.’