Young Blues duo are coming to America

Ryan Williams caught the eye in the 4-0 friendly win over the Hawks
Ryan Williams caught the eye in the 4-0 friendly win over the Hawks
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey can profit in play-off shake-up

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Youngsters Ryan Williams and Lewis Stockford will join Pompey’s pre-season USA trip as Steve Cotterill bids to boost their experience.

The rookies were both included in Monday’s friendly win over Hawks and will be among the squad that departs early tomorrow morning for a 12-day trip.

Fellow youngster Sam Magri will not be in the travelling party, with Cotterill keen to give the defender a breather after his exertions for England under-17s this summer.

Cotterill explained: ‘We will be taking a couple of the young lads in Lewis Stockford and Ryan Williams with us to America. They will gain good experience from that.

‘Sam Magri is not going. He needs a rest because he’s played football all summer.

‘But we will take Lewis and Ryan to protect people and beef up our numbers. They would be getting fast-tracked by us taking them, especially Ryan, who is potentially a prospect, although he’s a bit young at the moment.’

Australian winger Williams impressed the Blues boss in a friendly at Farnborough last season and looked a threat after coming on as substitute against the Hawks.

Stockford, a midfielder from Southsea, set up Luke Varney’s first goal for the club with a pinpoint angled pass in that 4-0 win.

Cotterill said: ‘I knew about them both last season.

‘Lewis didn’t play particularly well on Monday but he came back on and that’s the reason we did that because he needed to get it out of his system a little bit.

‘We spoke to him about a couple of things that can hopefully improve his game a little bit.

‘He’s a very nice lad and very respectful.

‘I saw Ryan last season at Farnborough and he looks a proper little tough scallywag.’