Chandler back to boost Portsmouth

Ian Chandler
Ian Chandler
Anthony Fooks. Picture: Neil Marshall (171124-346)

Pearce: Best is yet to come from Portsmouth

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Ian Chandler is back to lead the coaching team at Portsmouth ahead of their London two south west campaign.

Long-serving coach Chandler has returned after taking a year out, extending his experience under mentor Brian Saunders at United Services.

He’s delighted to be back and feels the club are moving in the right direction again.

Chandler said: ‘I needed to get away last year because I had got a bit disillusioned with how things were going at the club.

‘The time away working with Brian and Matt Davis has reinvigorated me and restored my appetite.

‘When Portsmouth asked me if I was interested in getting involved again I felt ready to do so.

‘When the likes of Peter Golding, Ken Reilly and Nigel Morgan sit you down around the table, they are difficult people to say no to.

‘I am thoroughly enjoying it since coming back.’

Portsmouth were badly disrupted by injuries last season and it wasn’t until the closing weeks that they pulled away from the relegation zone.

A serious injury to their captain Luke Richardson was a particularly big blow.

In the end the club did well to stay in London two south west considering the problems they faced.

None of the senior players from last season have left and Chandler believes the club have made some good additions.

‘The players coming in have given the club an injection of new lifeblood,’ said Chandler.

‘Physically we look in good shape and we have a lot more depth in the squad.’

Portsmouth will start the season without two key men.

Full-back Curtis Barnes will miss a few months after injuring his shoulder playing rugby league and outside-half Lee Chandler broke his ankle in training.

Portsmouth had a good 33-12 friendly win over Haywards Heath last weekend and travel to Crowborough tomorrow for a final pre-season outing.

The London two south campaign starts on Saturday, September 13 when Old Alleynians arrive at Rugby Camp.