Casey happy to swap Pompey for Bognor - and see some familiar faces
Pompey defender Matt Casey is happy to be playing senior football - with some familiar faces from Fratton around him.
The 20-year-old has joined Bognor on a youth loan which will keep him at Nyewood Lane until Febuary 9, with the arrangement to be reviewed after that.
He hopes regular men's football will help him develop and boost his aims of carving out a career in the pro game.
Casey knows Rocks coach Robbie Blake from the former Bradford and Burnley striker's time on the Fratton Park coaching staff - while new team-mates at Nyewood Lane include Dan Smith, Brad Lethbridge, Josh Flint, Harry Kavanagh and Joe Dandy, all of whom have been on Pompey's books or in some cases still are Pompey players.
Casey's Rocks spell got off to a winning start when he helped them to a hard-fought 2-1 win at Leatherhead on Saturday.
He said afterwards: “It was a great performance from myself and the team. We stuck at it, we stayed strong, kept going and got the win at the end."
The 6ft 7in tall defender's presence in the area at set-pieces gives the Rocks another option to deploy tactically, but he insists the team won't change their style just to suit his arrival.
“I think they're trying to keep playing as we were, they don’t want to change how they’re playing just because of me, but obviously they have got that option where with my height they can put it in the box.”
Having had previous loan spells at Weymouth, Gosport Borough and Havant & Waterlooville, Casey now sees Bognor as the most effective place to benefit his career.
“I just wanted to get out and start playing men’s football and Bognor seemed like the best option," he said. "They’re a close-partnered club with Portsmouth and I’ve played with many of the lads before so I knew what they were about and I knew it was a good setup down here.”
Having already played under Rocks coach Blake at Portsmouth, Casey believes that he and the team have the best possible man to help them push on for the rest of the season.
Casey said: “He was at Pompey a couple of years ago, he’s a great coach, he gets on with all of the lads and he’s got that tough side to him that will tell you when you’re doing wrong and he’ll always help you improve.”