Home-grown talent ready for head-to-head Pompey battle
BRANDON HAUNSTRUP is relishing his battle to make the Pompey breakthrough in a crucial season in his career.
But the Blues left-back admitted he would be prepared to consider a loan move away from Fratton Park to continue his football education.
Haunstrup is going head-to-head with new recruit Tareiq Holmes-Dennis for a starting place this term.
The 20-year-old has been told by Kenny Jackett he’s part of his plans for the forthcoming campaign.
That’s encouraged Haunstrup, as has Jackett’s stated desire to give young players a chance moving forward.
The Waterlooville talent is excited about what could lie ahead as he enters the final year of his existing agreement.
And he knows he has to seize any chances which come his way.
Haunstrup said: ‘When the chance comes it’s up to me to take it. I’ve got to show him what I’ve got.
‘It seems if you are doing well you get rewarded.
‘I’ve been pulled by him in pre-season and the gaffer’s told me I’m doing well.
‘It’s good to know that. In football, you don’t always get told that, so it keeps your confidence high.
‘I understand it’s a battle between us (Holmes-Dennis).
‘The manager spoke to me before I came on at Havant & Waterlooville. He said, being a new manager, he thought he’d have to get two players for every position because you need that.
‘He wasn’t sure what he was getting but he said he looked at me and thinks he doesn’t need anyone else in my position.
‘He said it’s a battle between the pair of us and it’s good that it will be a competitive battle.
‘It’s a confidence boost to know that he’s been impressed for the season ahead.’
Cup starts against Reading and Derby as well as a final-day 2015-16 outing against League Two champions Northampton have been the highlights of Haunstrup’s senior career to date.
But last season proved frustrating with just one senior Pompey start arriving.
Haunstrup would consider a loan move if a similar situation develops.
He said: ‘I’ve had six or seven over the past two years. That’s not ideal.
‘There would be something wrong if you were happy to sit on the bench.
‘You’re in the wrong industry if you want to do that.
‘Hopefully I get more games this season, if not then a loan might be ideal.
‘The gaffer has said he wants me around but I do want to play games now.
‘Hopefully that can happen this season.’