Youth mentor is back with Pompey

Youth development officer Dave Hurst for Pompey at Work feature
Youth development officer Dave Hurst for Pompey at Work feature
Tareiq Holmes-Dennis limps off injured against Rochdale. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Andy Awford has recruited the man who spotted him to help with his youth development revolution.

Pompey’s new academy manager has tempted 68-year-old Dave Hurst out of retirement to run his youth recruitment.

Hurst has a 30-year association with Pompey and was mentor to a huge number of youth-team successes.

And Hurst will help ensure Pompey scouts are back watching local teams in a bid to unearth some gems.

Hurst explained: ‘I’m excited. It will be a challenge but we’re up for it and I will be there as long as Andy wants me to help out.

‘I’ve brought a few of the lads back and we will get this area right. As we progress, we will go further afield.

‘One of the biggest criticisms is that nobody ever sees a Pompey scout at their games. That will change.

‘There will be lads out there to find who could go on to make it with the right coaching and we will start finding some good young players.

‘For the past year, we haven’t had a scouting network and we’ve lost some young players to other clubs. We need to start competing.’

Hurst, who is not being paid for his new role, stood down as head of youth development in 2006 and watched from afar as Pompey spent huge money on revamping their academy.

But Hurst is fully behind the new scaled-back system – with more emphasis on developing the region’s bright young players.

He said: ‘I stood down in 2006 as head of youth and then they spent absolute fortunes. You could run it for the next 15 years on that.

‘But the club have made a great appointment with Andy – although I’m probably biased because I signed him!

‘I don’t want to take money out of the club – they have treated me well. It’s just about helping to get things up and running again.’

Awford said: ‘Dave has 30 years of experience, he is Pompey through and through and his record speaks for itself.

‘Our youth recruitment needed addressing and Dave is the ideal man to do it.’

For more information on Pompey’s youth scouting, contact davehurst@pompeyfc.co.uk