Former coach back at Pompey
Former Pompey Academy coach Shaun North is back at Fratton Park.
North was influential in the Blues’ youth set-up, bringing through the likes of Matt Ritchie and Joel Ward before leaving the club.
He was assistant manager at Bristol Rovers until this summer, having also worked at Torquay United and Oxford in similar roles in recent years.
Now he has returned to Pompey’s Academy on a part-time basis, also sharing his time with coaching at Gosport Borough.
For Academy boss Andy Awford, North helps plug the gap left by Ian Buckman’s departure for Brighton.
And he believes the coach’s arrival will be tremendously beneficial to the youngsters in the set-up.
Awford: ‘We had a chat in the summer and, considering how the club is set up at the moment, it was a good opportunity for him to come back in and help.
‘There are a few other things going on with Shaun at Gosport also, so this helps us and helps him. He was here a long time previously, working with the schoolboys and had a spell with the youth, as well.
‘Shaun later worked with me and Jim Smith at Oxford so I know him really well.
‘He is honest, hard working and a good coach.
‘We will use him as a part-time Academy coach, working in different areas. That might be the under-nines or the under-16s, just covering all bases for me. Shaun has the experience and knowledge to drop into any age group.’
Many Pompey fans may also be familiar with the work of North’s dad, Roger, who is a prolific Isle of Wight scout.
Awford added: ‘Roger still runs the Isle of Wight scouting for us and that is the secret.
‘Shaun Cooper, Lewis Buxton, Jack Maloney, Liam Triggs, Dan Butler – they keep coming across from there.
‘Even when Roger lost his job through administration, he was still sending me players over. He has never gone far.
‘The amount of apprentices who come over from there every year is no coincidence. Roger does a fantastic job year in, year out and we really appreciate what he does.’