Goal-machine Wallace fights back from Pompey squad frustrations
JED Wallace is keeping himself busy while he waits for the Pompey squad manacles to be removed.
More to the point, he is keeping opposition goalkeepers busy.
And during the frustrating wait to be unleashed, the 18-year-old believes he is evolving into a better player.
Wallace has scored a staggering 12 goals in 14 matches during what has proven to be a profitable loan spell at Whitehawk.
The Ryman premier side has been the youngster’s temporary home for the past few months – and he has revelled in the opportunity.
During his goal-laden stay he has bagged two hat-tricks.
His most recent strike was as a substitute in a league cup fixture against Maidstone on Tuesday night.
Not bad for an attacking midfielder. Not bad at all for a player who scored just twice for the Pompey Academy last season.
Forget the level, Wallace epitomises the benefit of the Blues’ promising players being sent out on loan.
Dan Butler (Hawks), Elliot Wheeler (Bashley), Dan Thompson and George Colson (both Dorchester) have since followed him.
All apart from Wheeler featured against Plymouth in the first match of the season.
Since then the 20-man administration-enforced squad size has dictated their absence.
But Wallace is in no mood to wait idly for that to be lifted.
He said: ‘Whitehawk have looked after me properly, not put any pressure on and let me enjoy my football.
‘It has given me the opportunity to play regular first-team football and that’s all I’ve wanted.
‘I’m now playing in matches where if you win and you get three points it actually matters. You are in a competition, there is an edge.
‘A lot of my game is physical. I am a box-to-box player, so you have to be fit and playing games does that.
‘I am still training at Portsmouth so I don’t pick up any bad habits.
‘But the loan spell has given me a lot of confidence, particularly in front of goal.
‘Last season I just could not score, I couldn’t hit a barn door.
‘I panicked and would try to smash it. I remember doing that for the Academy against Bristol City. Andy Awford must think I am the worst finisher in the world!
‘But I am a goal-scoring midfielder and now I honestly don’t think about it when I get a chance. When I go out I feel as though I can score in every game.
‘I scored in my first game for Whitehawk and have just carried on scoring.
‘Hopefully, when the administration is sorted I can be given a go with Pompey.’
Such has been Wallace’s form, he was set for a loan move to Port Vale last month.
Yet that fell through on deadline day after a computer crashed.
He added: ‘Port Vale wanted me and Jack Compton was also going to Plymouth but the computer crashed at 4.55pm.
‘In the end it went through at 5.02pm – the Football League deadline was 5pm.
‘It was just going to be another stepping stone towards playing for Pompey.
‘I have just got to keep doing well at Whitehawk.’