Sam Pearce is delighted to be back at Westleigh Park and is determined to win his place back in the Hawks’ starting line-up.
The 25-year-old defender was recalled from his loan with Southern League premier side Gosport Borough after Pompey called Dan Butler into their first-team squad.
By his own admission, Pearce didn’t enjoy the best of starts to the season with the Hawks.
He spent a good time sat on the sidelines after being sent off twice in as many games, and then picked up an injury.
Boss Lee Bradbury arranged for Pearce to go out on loan to Privett Park and the defender reckons it was a perfect move for him.
‘Going to Gosport was good for me because I needed to start playing games again,’ said Pearce.
‘I had a difficult time at the start of the season and didn’t play for nearly two months.
‘Ryan Woodford and Ed Harris have played well and then Dan Butler came in and impressed.
‘I found myself down the pecking order so I needed the loan move.
‘It was like starting my pre-season all over again.’
Pearce was in line to turn out for the Hawks again last night, only for their Blue Square Bet South clash at Boreham Wood to be postponed because of heavy snow in Hertfordshire.
His no-nonsense rugged defending was just what Gosport needed as they initially struggled to find their feet in the Southern League premier division.
It is no coincidence that soon after the arrival of Pearce, Borough embarked on a 12-match unbeaten run.
Pearce enjoyed the experience under Alex Pike but still has ambitions of playing regularly at Blue Square Bet South level.
He admits, however, to enjoying his brief spell in the dugout helping Adie Aymes with the Hawks in the interim period before Bradbury was appointed as manager.
‘I am still only 25 and like to think I have a good few years left in me yet,’ said Pearce.
‘I was surprised when they asked me to help Adie out but thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
‘Adie picked the team but I was there to offer him advice from a player’s perspective.
‘It is something I have always been interested in doing when I eventually finish playing.’
Pearce started his career in the original Havant & Waterlooville youth team, becoming captain in his final year with them.
He then progressed to the full first team and continued his education, making 17 starts, mixed with various loan spells at different clubs.
The defender left to join Fleet Town before departing England for a year to play cricket in South Africa.
On his return to the country, he played for Bognor and Salisbury City before rejoining the Hawks in the summer of 2009, making 113 appearances in total to date.