Stockford seeking to blossom during Salisbury adventure

Lewis Stockford in pre-season action against the Hawks
Lewis Stockford in pre-season action against the Hawks
Dion Donohue Picture: Jason Chadwick

Midfield could be the home for Pompey signing-in-waiting

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Lewis Stockford has pledged to use his Salisbury City adventure to step up his Pompey development.

The 18-year-old is currently on a month’s loan at the Conference South side.

He made his debut as a 70th-minute substitute in their 2-2 draw at Bromley last weekend.

The switch represents a precious opportunity for the Southsea youngster to gain first-team experience.

Stockford featured in Pompey’s pre-season and recently started the friendly at Real Betis.

He has also skippered Andy Awford’s Academy side on occasions this season.

Now the first-year professional wants regular action to maintain his progress.

A month spent at non-league Salisbury may have surprised some Blues followers.

But he sees it as the perfect place to learn.

He said: ‘Salisbury have been looking for a central midfielder because they have one out injured at the moment – and I fit the bill.

‘It doesn’t concern me what level I am playing it, I just need games.

‘Men’s football is men’s football.

‘It’s just very important for me to be out there playing, learning and getting toughened up.

‘Salisbury are a full-time club and I am really enjoying it there.

‘I know I haven’t been there that long but it’s exciting for me. It’s a great chance for me to improve as a player.

‘It’s a competitive league and they are all so passionate about football up there. They definitely know where they want to go.

‘It’s a really good set-up. They have had a good start to the season and can definitely do something this year.

‘I came on for the last 20 minutes against Bromley last weekend.

‘The gaffer has gone with experience first. Mind you, I had only been there two days.

‘Hopefully I can get a start soon and keep on with my development.’

The Whites have a trip to Tonbridge Angels this weekend.

That is one of three matches in the next eight days, providing Stockford with an opportunity to impress.

The former Priory School pupil is not the only Pompey youngster out on loan at present.

Academy pair Chinedu Vine and Jordan Fitzharris have made temporary switches to Hayling United.

Vine scored twice on his debut against East Cowes Vics last weekend.