Appy excited by Dowling’s potential

Pompey's new head of recruitment, Luke Dowling
Pompey's new head of recruitment, Luke Dowling
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Michael Appleton pinpointed Luke Dowling as the man who can be his key signing this summer.

The Pompey boss hailed Dowling’s arrival as head of recruitment and believes his influence will be key in driving the club forward.

Dowling came to the club earlier this month from Crystal Palace.

The 33-year-old will become a major part of Appleton’s backroom staff which he has reshaped, with new number two Ashley Westwood also joining.

Appleton has made it clear he sees Dowling having a major impact on the way forward for Pompey.

And the Blues boss reckons he’ll will show his worth in the coming months for much-needed recruitment.

Appleton said: ‘Bringing Luke Dowling in as head of recruitment will be one of my best signings of the summer.

‘I believe in his ability.

‘He has a fantastic array of contacts and vocabulary of players at all levels – and he has a great eye for a player.

‘Hopefully, he will be a benefit to the football club.

‘I want the staff backing me in the same vein I want the team to. If that happens, we have a good chance.’

Dowling turned down offers from Premier League sides to link up with Pompey.

That came as he and Appleton built up a working relationship last season.

‘We just met through agents, really,’ said Appleton.

‘We happened to be in the same company a couple of times at different games and got chatting.

‘We just kept in touch.

‘The closer we got to the end of the season and didn’t have a recruitment guy, I was able to gauge his thoughts on the future and where he saw it.

‘Luckily, we were able to secure his services.’