Walker’s hopes of dream move are building

Liam Walker in action against Bolton. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122584-420)
Liam Walker in action against Bolton. Picture: Allan Hutchings (122584-420)
Pompey manager Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Jackett: Pompey have to be first to young talent

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People question the motivations of the modern-day footballer – and Pompey fans have more reason than most to do just that.

The often gaudy world of the game at the highest level can feed those driven by where their next big-money move, Louis Vuitton accessory and Ferrari is coming from.

Those characters and their hangers on have all been seen around Fratton Park in recent years.

Which is why the Pompey faithful should celebrate the story of Liam Walker.

Walker is making a big impression as he fights for a contract after catching Michael Appleton’s eye when playing against the Blues for Gibraltar in the pre-season clash.

His delightful first goal for the Blues in the 2-0 win at AFC Wimbledon on Tuesday saw him move a step closer to achieving that dream.

Like many of his contemporaries, the midfielder, whose father and family hail from Waterlooville, is not thinking too far ahead, though.

Because if it doesn’t work out for him, it means a return to Spain – and the building site. That’s the job the 24-year-old left when he joined up with Pompey for training last month.

And it is the hunger to earn a new life for himself that has been fuelling a desire which has made him one of the top pre-season performers. Now it remains to be seen whether he can complete a Roy of the Rovers switch to his family club.

‘It’s going okay for me,’ said Walker, as he reflected on a whirlwind period in his life.

‘My fitness is getting better each day but I’m not at my peak.

‘It’s a case of working hard and trying to get better each day.

‘If the worst was to happen it would be back to Spain for me.

‘It would be back to work in building and back to the club I was based at.

‘There’s nothing else at the moment for me but I’m not interested in anything else.

‘It’s just Portsmouth for me. My dad’s happy about me being here.

‘He’s chuffed and wants me to keep working and then see what happens.

‘Him and his family are all from Waterlooville.

‘My dad’s uncle and auntie live here, so I’m over living with them at the moment.

‘There’s family over in Spain still who are from Waterlooville, too.

‘They will be over through the season if it carries on and goes well.

‘They are all Portsmouth fans and are well happy to see me here.

‘We’ll have to see how it all pans out but it’s a bit of dream come true for me.’

It remains to be seen whether Walker’s dreams could be dashed by having no club to play for from today.

The noises on that front are upbeat, however, and the player is focusing on what he can control.

Walker said: ‘Everyone’s keeping their fingers crossed. No-one wants Portsmouth to go down.

‘They are a big club and they have big support – the best in England.

‘We’re keeping on with the football side of it, keeping away from the exterior stuff and working hard.

‘It’s a job, so you get on with it.

‘Once you go to training that’s what you are there for. We are all hanging about to see how it sorts itself out.’