Pompey recruit reflects on '˜surreal' 72 hours
FROM Wembley to Fratton Park within 72 hours '“ a '˜surreal' timeframe for Louis Dennis.
The 25-year-old fulfilled a childhood ambition by playing at the home of football during Sunday’s FA Trophy final.
By Wednesday he had secured the return to the Football League he craved after earning a Pompey switch.
A breathless three days for the Bromley forward, who has been snapped up by Kenny Jackett on a two-year deal.
A 5-4 penalty defeat against Brackley Town inevitably soured Dennis’ Wembley occasion a little in front of a 31,430 crowd.
Nonetheless, it has been a giddy period for the Ravens’ Supporters’ Player of the Season.
He said: ‘It has been a surreal few days for me.
‘At the start of the season you set yourself goals and things you want to achieve – and I really feel I’ve achieved quite a lot of them.
‘The second I heard Portsmouth were interested I had my heart set on the move. It’s a massive club, a massive opportunity, and my mind was focused.
‘Before that was completed we had the chance to play at Wembley, which was a fantastic experience, one I will take away with me forever.
‘I’m disappointed we didn’t get the result we wanted, but when you think something is written in the stars sometimes it isn’t and you have to pick yourself up and go again.
‘We were 15 seconds away from lifting the FA Trophy and one penalty kick away from winning silverware.
‘It was a gutting way to lose. We did all we could, but it was difficult considering our season finished three weeks before the cup final, so a lot of us lost fitness.
‘Whereas Brackley had their National League North play-off final last week and then the Wembley final, so were going into the game with match fitness.
‘But all credit to them, on the day they deserved it and were the better side.’
As for Dennis, he was substituted on 68 minutes as manager Neil Smith attempted to retain their 1-0 lead.
Then Brackley levelled five minutes into time added on – before triumphing in the penalty shoot-out.
Dennis added: ‘I was substituted, the way the game was going the manger made the decision to try to defend the 1-0 lead.
‘A lot of people are maybe going to question that, but I gave it all I could on the day and it just wasn’t to be.
‘No-one expected us to be there anyway. It was a massive bonus to play in front of 31,000 at Wembley. We’re used to 1,500 a week!’