Pompey ‘repaying a favour’ by sending a youthful XI to Baffins Milton Rovers for friendly

Baffins Milton Rovers manager Shaun Wilkinson believes attracting Pompey for a friendly is a big deal for the club.

Monday, 12th July 2021, 1:15 pm

Rovers are preparing to welcome a Blues XI managed by academy coach Liam Daish to the PMC Stadium tomorrow night (7.30pm).

It's a Pompey team likely to be made up of under-18 prospects and some trialists looking to impress.

Wilkinson says it will provide his Wessex League Premier Division side with a great opportunity to test themselves against full-time players.

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And he is hoping it might help Baffins attract a few more supporters to the ground for the first time.

Wilkinson said: 'It’s good to be able to attract Pompey to come down and play a team from our level - it’s a big game for the club.

‘Obviously Pompey Women used our facility last year, the youth team used our facilities during Covid, the changing rooms and they used our clubhouse as a classroom for their school work. They’re repaying a favour and they’ve helped us out with a game.

‘They’ll be fit, they’ll be quick, they’ll be lively and they’ll be eager to impress. They’ll have a lot of first years coming in which will obviously be their first game.

'The pride for any professional club, you don’t want to get beat by a non-league club, especially at step five.

'We’re expecting a tough game but a good game played in the right way on a decent pitch.'

Ex-Pompey Academy midfielder Tommy Scutt was on the scoresheet as Baffins recorded a 1-1 pre-season friendly draw at lower tier Wessex 1 outfit Newport IOW on Saturday.

Rovers, who are still continuing their search for a goalkeeper after Charlie Searle's departure to Hawks, used the same trialist stopper for the third friendly running.

But Wilkinson could also be running the rule over another goalkeeper later this week.

He said: 'We’ve had a lad in on trial and to be fair he’s done great.

‘We’re going to have a look at him through pre-season, we’ll have another look tomorrow.

‘We’ve got another goalkeeper coming down tomorrow and potentially training on Thursday.'

Baffins visit Hampshire Premier Leaguers Fleetlands in a friendly next Saturday.