CRAIG McALLISTER hailed the signing of ‘quality defender’ Matt Casey.
The Pompey centre-back has joined Gosport Borough on loan and goes straight into their squad for tomorrow’s first-qualifying round FA Cup tie at Sittingbourne (3pm).
Casey, 18, was at Weymouth earlier this season but made just two appearances and returned to Fratton Park.
Joe Byrne has also arrived from Blackfield & Langley to strengthen Borough’s rearguard.
And McAllister is delighted to add the pair to the Privett Park ranks.
The Gosport boss said: ‘I am really happy that Matt is on board.
‘The lad is a quality defender and has a bright future ahead of him.
‘We are thankful to Mark Kelly for letting him come over.
‘It will enable him to get more game-time and adds greater competition to our squad.
‘I have got two quality defenders and it makes sure that no-one can be in the comfort zone’
Borough’s reasons for advancing as far as possible in the FA Cup are two-fold.
Not only would it provide a windfall for the Privett Park coffers, but McAllister feels it’s a platform for his players to move up the football ladder.
‘First and foremost it can bring valuable finances in,’ he added.
‘It is also good for the players because it is a chance for them to put themselves in the shop window.
‘Getting to the first round proper is the dream for all the little clubs.
‘Firstly, though, we have to beat Sittingbourne and it won't be easy. It is vital that we get our attitude right and maintain our concentration.
‘Getting into the hat for the next round is massive for us.
‘We need to work hard and stick together.’