Aussie ace set for Boro bow

Ryan Williams in action for Pompey in the pre-season friendly against Chelsea
Ryan Williams in action for Pompey in the pre-season friendly against Chelsea
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Ryan Williams will be a regular in Pompey’s first-team squad this season.

That’s the pledge of Steve Cotterill, who is fast-tracking the 17-year-old into his plans.

The attacking midfielder will be part of the Blues squad to face Middlesbrough tomorrow in their Championship opener.

Dave Kitson is struggling to recover from the thigh injury he picked up in America.

But it may prove too soon to grant Williams his first start.

Regardless, the Aussie youngster has left a massive impression on Cotterill during pre-season.

He will now be given a squad number and travel with the team to face a Boro side which is likely to contain older brother Rhys.

And the Blues boss is relishing helping him develop.

Cotterill said: ‘There will only be one young lad we’ve got at this present time involved on the squad list tomorrow and that will be young Ryan.

‘I think he has done well, he has shown great promise.

‘There might be games he goes and plays with the Academy but, as it stands at the moment with the numbers, he will be with us.

‘It will not be at the detriment where Ryan is not going to play games, though, that is why he played at Dorchester for the Academy the other night.

‘He’s a 17-year-old kid, probably about eight-stone dripping wet, there is not a lot to him.

‘But there might be seven stone of it being his heart. He’s got a big heart on him, I like him, I think he’s great. He’s got a great chance.’

Just two days after returning from Pompey’s American tour, Williams was back on Academy duty.

He netted – along with Lewis Stockford – in a 4-2 win over Dorchester.

And Cotterill joked he has already seen a change in the youngster.

He added: ‘Ryan did very well the other night.

‘I felt it was an important one for him after being away with all the first team, sampling nice hotels, nice training kit, nice training grounds – all the nice trappings the other lads have.

‘It’s amazing how he has been away and come back and now got a flash toiletry bag he didn’t have before.

‘It was a Tesco carrier bag before, now he’s got a nice Louis Vuitton one.

‘We’ll have to look at what his car is like next.’