Boss hoping Wright can bolster Pompey’s squad

Dave Wright. Picture: Colin Farmery
Dave Wright. Picture: Colin Farmery
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Kenny Jackett is hoping Dave Wright’s vast knowledge of the youth game can help bolster his first-team squad.

Wright joined Pompey’s academy set-up last week as head of under-21 and academy recruitment.

The former Medina Primary School teacher has an impeccable knowledge of youth football.

He headed up Stoke City’s Category One academy for three years before working auditing academies across the country for Belgian-based company Double Pass.

At Pompey, it’s Wright’s mission to bring in any fledgling talent he believes can improve the club – either presently or in the future.

This week he brought in former Newcastle United attacking midfielder Olly Long, who hails from Horndean, for a week-long trial.

Jackett believes Wright can continue to attract young professionals who will improve his squad.

The Blues manager said: ‘David has a very good CV.

‘In the past 18 months he’s been working as an auditor for all of the academies to get grants, which is a big thing.

‘He’s obviously a Portsmouth man and we’re pleased to have him.

‘Hopefully his connections, for me as a manager, can lead to bringing in more good players.

‘I would say he is recruiting right up to the age of 23.

‘If he has knowledge of 16 or 18-year-olds from a few years ago then we’re not going to ignore those.

‘He’s looking at young players of all ages.

‘For myself, personally, players there or thereabouts are the best ones. If he needs to work from the very bottom, though, then that’s good.

‘But, naturally, I’ll be looking at the older ones, such as the first or second-year pros who have gone out on loan once and gone back to their clubs.

‘Second loans are a big one, as well as players who are down on their luck and out of contract.

‘Or those who don’t see a future at their club that we can take on a permanent basis.

‘The upper end of the youth scale, ones who are close to the first team, we can make into Portsmouth players.’

One of Wright’s main aims at Pompey is to improve the club’s scouting presence in the area.

He believes other clubs have ‘wormed their way into the city’ following the Blues’ fall from the Premier League.

With the likes of Southampton, Chelsea and Brighton encroaching on the patch, Jackett also says it is fundamental Pompey stay on top of local talent.

‘We need to improve the scouting structure of younger age groups,’ he added.

‘We’ve got a number of young players in and around our team who have come through who are good.

‘But that has got to continue.

‘You look at how Brighton have come up in the past few years.

‘Southampton have always been there then Chelsea and Reading a have presence in the area.

‘It’s a good area but one we have to stay on top of.

‘In terms of manpower, the whole youth area has got bigger and we need to get bigger with it.’