Tale of two midfielders reaches surprise climax

Simon Ferry. Picture: Joe Pepler

Simon Ferry. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey Academy defender Matt Casey Picture: Neil Marshall

Kelly praise for Pompey Academy response

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As one Pompey midfielder saga comes to a close, so does another.

Jed Wallace’s will-he-won’t-he contract soap opera finally arrived at a happy conclusion last week.

Less well documented were Simon Ferry’s woes as his stay at Fratton Park came to, what appeared to be, a sudden and jarring close.

Ferry’s time with the Blues was unsettled by a double burglary, which had gone largely unreported.

Despite calls from The News, the police chose not to release information over the incidents at his home in Southsea.

Ferry’s profile and the concerning and reckless nature of the burglaries was, no doubt, a factor in that decision.

The consequence, unsurprisingly, was the player’s young family being hugely unsettled by what took place.

His pregnant wife returned north of the border with their child, as the midfielder lost that settled off-pitch environment players need to prosper.

Maybe it’s no coincidence things weren’t going too well for Ferry on the pitch either, through that period.

A persistent back injury led to him making just one start in 2014, and four appearances in total.

That was after the Scottish talent arrived to great fanfare from Swindon, with plenty of excited talk about his ability.

The greatest compliment to Ferry is you would never have known his troubles.

The 26-year-old is, without any question, one of the great characters to have pulled on a royal blue shirt in recent years.

Anyone following his Twitter antics and column in the Sports Mail throughout the season would testify to that.

His slightly-but-nicely demented behaviour on those platforms weren’t for show. He really is that loopy.

At the risk of giving away too many trade secrets, a lot of the columns written by players in recent times are ghosted by News reporters. Ferry wasn’t having any of that.

With his slightly erratic behaviour, the fear was a gap would be left where his Ferry Tales column should sit in the Mail on a Saturday tea-time, as we waited for copy. The document would always appear, though.

Deciphering Ferry’s tartan-tinged textspeak was the next test but it was worth it for his gems of humour and opinion.

Andy Awford had Ferry in his plans but his departure does remove one of the club’s top earners and any fears the Pompey boss had over his fitness.

Awford was always confident Wallace would commit his long-term future to his side, despite incessant speculation over where he’d be playing his football.

Peterborough made their play for the 20-year-old in January, while the likes of Leeds and Wolves loitered with intent.

Wallace, as any player would do as their contract came to a close, kept his own counsel and weighed up his options.

That led to some unfair flak, as supporters mistook the fluctuations in form of a young player for the actions of a man who’d had his head turned.

A personna which portays the confidence a young professional needs could also, at times, have been interpreted as arrogance.

Yet, you’d go a long way to find a player who has embraced Pompey’s community ethos more than Wallace.

No player last season cultivated more column inches than the non-league graduate.

Wallace, however, has been at pains to stress he wants to put that talk to bed, put roots down in the area and focus on succeeding at Pompey

That attitude is to be applauded and Pompey fans wish him well in his quest.

It’s a sentiment universally replicated for Ferry, along with a sense of regret that he isn’t alongside Wallace to drive their team forward together next season.

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