Why there is no place like Pompey for new-boy’s home

New Blues keeper John Sullivan
New Blues keeper John Sullivan
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John Sullivan already has a new club secured in the form of Pompey.

Now he’s eyeing another move, this time to live among the community.

He is adamant he will relocate to the city which houses his employers and the fans he will be playing in front of.

The 25-year-old has no intention of commuting from his London residence or even moving back to his family home in Worthing.

Instead, he will spend the next few weeks looking at property in the likes of Gunwharf and Port Solent as he seeks to embrace his new location.

It is a refreshing attitude which will no doubt be applauded by Pompey fans with their on-going drive to strengthen the club’s community feel.

The fact the training ground will these days also be in the city rather than Eastleigh certainly adds weight for players living locally.

And for Sullivan, it is something he genuinely believes in.

He said: ‘I am going to move to the area, I don’t think driving an hour-and-a-half from London is a good idea.

‘I have always been five or 10 minutes away from the stadium, no matter what club I have played for, and that’s the way I like it.

‘Being a footballer that is the way it should be. For me you should live within a 20-mile radius of the stadium.

‘I actually did the drive from London on the morning I signed and it was not too bad. The problem is one bit of traffic and you’ve got no chance of training.

‘That is not something I want to risk so I am looking to move down here.

‘I’m not too bothered where I go. I’ve got no ties, no girlfriend, no kids or family, so it is up to me where I live.

‘I had a walk around Gunwharf the other day and my sister lives in Basingstoke. I have friends in Pompey, Selsey and Southampton so I know the area well.

‘I know my way around and it really appeals to me living here.

‘I’m probably looking at Gunwharf and Port Solent, which is nice and local so ticks a few boxes.

‘It’s something I intend to do and I’m told somebody from the club will also be helping me find a place around here.’

Hailing from West Sussex, Sullivan was brought up as a Brighton fan and, subsequently, a season ticket holder.

His support for the Seagulls took him to home grounds at the Goldstone Ground, the Priestfield Stadium, the Withdean and, of course, the Amex Stadium.

He also ventured to Fratton Park twice as a supporter but never a player.

That will all change now with Charlton’s friendly visit on Saturday, July 20 looking the most likely unveiling.

He added: ‘I think the biggest challenge for us is that when teams come to Fratton Park we all have to be patient.

‘The fans can’t get on the team’s back – and here I know they won’t.

‘The first time I came here was as a fan, about 10 years ago, and Brighton unfortunately lost 4-2.

‘The other occasion was when I was with one of my best pals in the Fratton end against Southampton.

‘He’s a Pompey fan and I think plenty remember that 4-1 win that day!

‘As a player these are exciting times. Pompey should not be in League Two or League One and it’s a new project for everyone.’