Pompey winger makes fitness sacrifice

Andy Barcham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Andy Barcham. Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Andy Barcham is determined to make his summer of sacrifice pay off for Pompey.

The Blues winger is dedicating himself to a gruelling fitness regime to put his injury woes behind him.

Barcham is still recovering from a thigh injury which dogged him for much of last season.

The 27-year-old is spending long days at Fratton Park and the club’s University of Portsmouth training ground to get that right.

He is on course for a comeback when Andy Awford’s men return for pre-season training on June 26.

Barcham is ensuring he puts in the graft now to make sure that’s the case.

He said: ‘I’m in most days at the moment working to get the injury right.

‘I missed so much at the back end of last season, so I’d rather get back up to speed and ready for pre-season now.

‘The last thing I want is to carry it into pre-season. That would be the worst outcome.

‘I have to get it right. I’m very close.

‘It was a tear in my quad and it has all healed now.

‘It’s just about doing the right rehab to make sure I’m okay.

‘I wasn’t going to go away and then come straight back into it in pre-season.

‘So I’m doing work with the physios, running and kicking the ball a bit.

‘Then I can build myself up rather than going straight back into three sessions a day.

‘I’ve been getting a few texts from the boys on holiday, who are all having a good time.

‘But they deserve that with the performances they were putting in at the back end of the season.

‘For me it’s about putting the dedication in now to benefit me when we come back for pre-season. The most important thing is do that.’

Barcham’s admitted his first Pompey campaign was frustrating after showing exciting early-season form.

He suffered a thigh tear in December and a similar problem when he tried to race back to fitness in February.

Barcham said: ‘I didn’t play as much football as I would have liked last season. That was frustrating for me. It was bits and pieces.

‘The initial injury was at Bristol Rovers and then I had a month’s rehab.

‘But then I came back and it went again at Scunthorpe.

‘My little boy was born around that time and I wasn’t getting a lot of sleep.

‘I was going into hardcore training with one eye open and that’s when I felt it again.

‘Maybe I should have said I felt it then and came out.

‘But I wanted to be a part of getting us back up the league. That’s when I tore it again.

‘I knew I had to get it right then because it would become pretty serious.

‘But it’s nice to be able to kick a ball again now.

‘Now I’m there or thereabouts. So it’s about doing the things I need to do to ensure I’m participating in pre-season.

‘I’m confident that will be the case.’