Appy keen to cash in on kids

Pompey boss Michael Appleton   Picture: Robin Jones
Pompey boss Michael Appleton Picture: Robin Jones
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Michael Appleton is set to send a host of youngsters out on loan in an attempt to scrape a squad together.

The Pompey boss is planning to give development squad members experience away from Fratton Park to help develop their footballing careers.

And in doing so Appleton is hoping that will free up funds to add a loan recruit to his first-team ranks.

The 36-year-old is currently operating with a first-team squad of 17, which he has made clear is three short of the minimum number of players he needs.

Appleton is looking at every option available to him to strengthen, after being told by administrator Trevor Birch there is no more money available.

He has already made a successful appeal to local businesses, with two Pompey supporters pledging £40,000.

Now he is planning to send youngsters out on loan in an effort to raise some much-needed funds.

Appleton said: ‘We could be inventive.

‘We’ve got development group players who need first-team football.

‘They may not get that at league level, but are certainly good enough to do that at Conference level or locally.

‘If it means two or three of them have to go out on loan to get the club in a position where it can be competitive and get others in, we may have to look down that route.

‘If a couple went out it would give me a bit of cash to bring one player in. It would give me more money.

‘After the Plymouth game I would have thought there was a better chance of something happening.

‘I thought some of them really acquitted themselves well.

‘If I was a non-league manager, there would have been two or three of them to catch my eye.

‘If it does happen it’s the best of both worlds.

‘It’s not a detriment to the players in any way, shape or form.

‘It’s an opportunity to get some football in and the first team to reap the benefits of that.’

Pompey are operating to a squad limit of 20 players, imposed on them by the Football League.

Five of the current playing staff are loanees – Jordan Obita, Mikkel Andersen, Paul Connolly, Kevin Long and Conor Clifford.

Five loan players is the maximum amount allowed in a match-day squad, although there are no restriction on the number of loanees at a club.

Appleton said: ‘It’s a maximum and minimum of 20 players to be competitive.

‘We were given special dispensation for Plymouth, because we basically didn’t have any players!

‘Having 20 players is key but you can only spend what you have to spend.

‘We can get to 20 players if we ring around and get favours from people, though.

‘We have two youth loans in Jordan and Conor, but it’s no good me having Jordan and Conor as midfielders if my loan centre-half gets injured and I can’t replace him with another loanee.

‘There’s nothing wrong with having six or seven loans in the building.

‘If your two loans get injured and there aren’t people to replace them then you are snookered.’