With Kev McCormack unavailable to be part of the Spanish training camp, it is comforting to know his replacement is keeping up the good work.
Alex Clarke has stepped into Kev’s considerable shoes as kit man – and scared the youngsters in the squad to death.
There is no doubting who the boss is when the long-serving Welshman is around and Alex has followed suit with his iron fist.
The other day, Adam Webster received a tongue lashing after it was discovered he hadn’t locked up the room with the table tennis table in it, which also doubles up as kit storage.
Alex then confiscated the key for the day, leaving the Pompey teenagers without their prized youth club.
Mysteriously, everybody then woke the next day to discover the room had flooded overnight. It seems the leak stemmed from the air conditioning installed in the ceiling – right next to the table tennis table – therefore depriving them of another day of ping pong.
Heartbreak among Webster, Sam Magri, Dan Butler, George Colson, Ashley Harris, Jed Wallace and Dan Thompson – and a smug look from Alex.
Surely he couldn’t be that nasty. Could he?
There have been a few aches and pains in recent days as the tough training schedule takes its toll.
In addition, Jon Harley has been hampered by a bad stomach, although the permanent smile remains on the face of the happiest man in Benahavis.
Elsewhere, Sam Magri was stung by a jellyfish while swimming on a beach.
Perhaps more painful was the 100 euro taxi fare he took to get there for the privilege.
Most serious of all the ailments, however, is the one which kit man John Wilson is suffering from.
Yes, the creosote-skinned one has apparently contracted a ‘life-threatening illness’.
Well, that is according to a message kindly posted at the bottom of yesterday’s online version of this column, anyway.
The message – that has since been removed – claimed it was harsh to poke fun at John’s failure to shine at Fareham Town last season as he had such extenuating circumstances.
A perplexed John insists the only illness he has had is glandular fever – and that was three years ago.