Alex Pike has handed former Pompey scholar George Colson a chance to earn a contract with Gosport Borough.
The 20-year-old midfielder, who was released by Pompey two years ago, is among eight triallists who have joined the Privett Park outfit for pre-season training ahead of the new Conference South campaign.
The Borough boss is running the rule over a clutch of young players who have been released.
Youngsters from Fulham and QPR will also be aiming to make their mark.
And they will all be handed an opportunity to impress in tonight’s pre-season friendly at Bashley (7.45pm).
Colson has the chance to step up to the higher level of football if he can impress against his former side, after spending last season with the New Forest club.
And Pike believes he has the potential of earning himself a deal at Privett Park.
The Borough boss said: ‘He’s got a good chance.
‘He played in the Southern League for Bashley last season and he fits the blueprint of what we are trying to do at Gosport.
‘We want the young, hungry players who have been at pro clubs in the past who want to prove a point.
‘I’m willing to give them a chance at Gosport Borough, to use us as a stepping stone to prove that point.
‘George is a central midfielder but he can also play at full-back as well, so he has a few strings to his bow.
‘That’s always a good thing to have that versatility.
‘I saw him a couple of times at Bashley and he has got a great engine on him.
‘He has probably been the fittest player in training so far.’
Aside from Colson, Anthony Giles (Fulham), Corey Stewart (QPR), Sam Roberts, Adam Flint (both Salisbury) and Danilo Cadette (Fleet Town) will be in the Gosport ranks tonight.
Only Nathan Ashmore and Sam Pearce from last season’s side will be given a run-out.
But new recruits Mike Carter, Jack Odam and Stuart Green will be involved.
There could also be other players given a chance as Pike waits on confirmation from possible targets.
Pike said: ‘Out of the lads on trial, realistically, I would probably be looking to take on two or three to join the squad.
‘But they will all have the chance to impress me and I need to give them 90 minutes to have a proper look. Then we will take it from there.
‘I will have a look at the triallists, and if they are good enough I will take them on.
‘If they are not, we will shake hands and they still have got time to find another club before the new season.
‘They have all done well in training but nothing beats seeing them in a proper game.’
The regular first-team squad will be taking part in another training session and have worked hard so far.
‘I’ve never known an unfit team win a football match,’ said Pike.
‘They’ve got to do it but they have really put it in and it’s been great to see.
‘The lads said this is the hardest pre-season they have done, which is good.’