Barcham departure signals end of class of 2013

  • Guy Whittingham signed 11 players in the summer of 2013
  • Barcham left on Wednesday following 53 appearances and five goals
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Portsmouth Community Football Club had been born, a fresh start spearheaded by permanent manager Guy Whittingham.

It was accompanied by the arrival of 11 new faces, players summoned to drive the Blues out of the Football League’s bottom division.

Andy Barcham, right, and Ricky Holmes. Picture: Joe Pepler

Andy Barcham, right, and Ricky Holmes. Picture: Joe Pepler

That summer of 2013 promised much, reflected by the onset of 10,660 season ticket sales.

Now, two years later Andy Barcham has departed, the last-man standing toppled. An entire team of pre-season recruits disposed of, with the club still stranded in League Two.

Injuries played their part in impeding the effectiveness of many of them, others were keen on offers elsewhere.

Crucially, barely any proved their worth during their Fratton Park stay.

Barcham, by no means the biggest failure, left on Wednesday by mutual consent before linking up with AFC Wimbledon.

The likeable winger made 53 appearances and scored five goals, yet overall his time was hampered by injury.

Of the others who signed in the summer of 2013, John Sullivan, Sonny Bradley, Simon Ferry, Romain Padovani and Bondz N’Gala lasted a year.

Ricky Holmes and Ryan Bird fared a little longer, departing during last season after falling out of favour with Andy Awford.

In May, the contracts of Joe Devera, Danny East and Tom Craddock were not renewed, rendering them free agents.

Then came Barcham’s farewell to bring the curtain down on the 11.

There were other signings that summer, although they represented fresh deals for players who had turned out the previous season such as Johnny Ertl, Dan Butler, Yassin Moutaouakil, Patrick Agyemang, David Connolly and Phil Smith.

However, that summer Whittingham brought in a number from outside the club, many from a higher division.

The first to arrive on a busy May 9, 2013, were Bradley and East from Hull and former triallist Romain Padovani.

Within a week Craddock, Devera and Sullivan had joined them, all free transfers and handed two-year deals.

Holmes, Bird and Ferry signed in June, once Pompey were back for pre-season training.

Finally, Bondz N’Gala arrived on August 2, initially on a one-month deal but ended up seeing out the season.

Then they began to depart,

Sullivan quit the professional game at the season’s end following depression issues and currently works in Las Vegas.

Bradley joined Crawley for an undisclosed fee, while Ferry (Dundee) and Padovani (Frejus Saint-Raphael) departed by mutual consent. N’Gala’s contract was not renewed and he joined future Conference champions Barnet.

During the 2014-15 campaign, Bird and Holmes’ moved to Cambridge United and Northampton respectively.

Come May 2015, Devera, Craddock and East were not given new deals.

Now Barcham has followed suit.

n Dan Butler has agreed a move to Torquay. The Isle of Wight left-back was one of eight players released by Pompey in May. The 20-year-old made 54 appearances for the Blues.