Clarke: No promises over my Pompey future
MATT CLARKE admitted he can't promise he'll be at Pompey next season.
The defender knows there’s no guarantees the final-day meeting with Peterborough won’t be his last in a blue shirt.
But Clarke has underlined his contentment with life at Fratton Park as he prepares to sign off from an outstanding campaign.
The 21-year-old was named the players’ player of the season and picked up the overall top player gong at the Blues’ end-of-season awards on Tuesday night.
More player of the year accolades are certain to come his way this weekend, after producing form which underlines why he’s Pompey’s prized asset.
Clarke has been linked with a host of Premier League and Championship outfits in recent months.
He signed a new contract which runs until 2020 in February, but knows there’s every chance he could be plying his trade elsewhere next term.
Clarke said: ‘I’m not going to stand here and make any promises that I’ll be here next season.
‘That’s just not the way football is. You never know what is going to happen.
‘To be linked with these clubs is nice personally, but I’m enjoying my football here.
‘The most important thing to me is I’m playing week-in, week-out.
‘That’s when you are going to improve.
‘If you aren’t playing on a Saturday it’s going to be very hard to gain anything or move forward as a player.
‘To play every week is the most important thing.
‘I love my football and I love the day to day of it.
‘I feel Portsmouth is my home. I live here and a lot of my best friends are here now.
‘I’m loving my football here, but I’m not going to stand here and make promises I’m not able to keep.
‘When I first moved here I felt a little homesick. You miss your friends back home.
‘Now, though, I feel content here and rarely go back to Ipswich, which was originally home. I love it down here.’
Clarke stated it’s flattering to hear there are reportedly a long line of suitors keen on securing his services next season.
But the man who joined from Ipswich also acknowledged he doesn’t take such speculation too seriously.
Bristol City were the latest name to surface last month and joined a lengthy list of sides including Wolves, Hull, Brighton, Leeds, Watford and Reading rumoured to be interested in the centre-half.
Clarke added: ‘You have to enjoy it a bit when you’re being linked here, there and everywhere.
‘I may get a few texts asking am I moving somewhere, when I’m having tea at home like every other night!
‘You take it with a pinch of salt, but to be linked with those clubs is nice and shows you’re doing something right.
‘If you’re young and performing these things come naturally. I take confidence from that.’