Youngsters set to fly Pompey nest

Nick Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Nick Awford. Picture: Joe Pepler
Carl Baker. Picture: Joe Pepler

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POMPEY are preparing to send their young guns out on loan.

Andy Awford is looking to free up further space in his squad by giving his young pros game time away from Fratton Park.

Ben Close, Nick Awford, Bradley Tarbuck and Conor Chaplin have all been earmarked for temporary moves.

Jack Maloney is currently at Poole Town, while Academy prospect Chad Field has joined Bognor.

Awford said: ‘We’ve reduced the squad but there are others who could still go out.

‘Some of the young lads could do with some time out and some game time.

‘Jack Maloney is out so you’re looking at Ben Close, Nick Awford, Bradley Tarbuck and possibly Conor Chaplin.

‘Chad Field is playing for Bognor. That’s good experience for him. It gives them men’s football.

‘If they haven’t figured in the first-team squad for a while they are the same as the senior pros – they need to play football.

‘There’s still some work to be done on the outs.

‘There will be a few more to go out and then, hopefully, we can get what we want in.

‘We can offer reserve-team football but if they can play men’s competitive football it will benefit them.’

Awford explained he has 
no preconceived ideas about the level the young pros will play.

But he stated he will guard against sending them too far down the English football pyramid.

Awford said: ‘You try to fix them up as high as they can.

‘You want them to play as high as they can and be tested.

‘If there’s no takers at level A you look at level B.

‘If there’s none there it’s level C. But, beyond that, you are probably keeping them.’