Appy won over by triallist Harley

Jon Harley has proven he has the attitude and the legs during his short-term stay at Pompey.

Monday, 23rd July 2012, 8:00 am
Updated Thursday, 7th June 2018, 7:33 pm

And Michael Appleton admits the former Chelsea defender is winning him over as he mulls over whether to make the 32-year-old a permanent capture.

Harley arrived at Eastleigh for the start of pre-season training after contacting head physio Steve Allen during the summer.

Given the go-ahead by Appleton, he has continued to remain on trial and started Friday night’s pre-season opener at Gibraltar.

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The left-back is a free agent after being released by Notts County and is currently seeking club number 10 in a career which has seen him perform in every division.

And Appleton concedes Harley has caught his eye during his time training with the Blues.

He said: ‘Jon has done great since he came in. He has surprised me how fit he is.

‘When you bring in an experienced player coming to the back end of his career, your first thoughts are “has he got the legs he had a few years ago?”

‘But I think he has clearly shown since he has been here that it looks as if he does have plenty left in his legs.

‘Hopefully he will show me that while I am out here to put my mind in a position where I may be able to offer him something.

‘Jon is fantastic lad, one of those who a lot of the time you don’t know is there. He is not going to give you problems or be a handful.

‘And he’s a good character around the dressing room because he is probably a calming influence around the rest of the players.’

Harley came up through the Chelsea ranks to make 43 appearances, scoring twice.

He then made a £3.5m switch to Fulham in August 2001 before moving down through the leagues with the likes of Sheffield United, Burnley and Watford.

The former England under-21 full-back spent the past two seasons with Notts County, racking up 63 appearances before being loaned out to League Two Rotherham.