Bradley backed to build on impressive Blues start

Pompey central -defender Sonny Bradbley Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey central -defender Sonny Bradbley Picture: Joe Pepler
Pompey were crowned league champions on this day in 1949. Picture: Pompey History Society

On this day picture gallery: Pompey crowned league champions

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Sonny Bradley has been tipped for a big Pompey future.

Since arriving at Fratton Park on a free transfer from Hull City, the central defender has turned in a succession of impressive displays and already looks like one of Guy Whittingham’s shrewdest acquisitions of the summer.

But while the Blues boss has been delighted with his summer recruit, he believes there is still plenty more to come from the 22-year-old.

Whittingham said: ‘We’re pleased with Sonny – very much so.

‘I think there are a few players who have done well for us since joining in the summer.

‘But Sonny probably stands out because he is 6ft 5in and wins a lot of headers at the back for us.

‘It’s what you have to do in this league and that’s one of the reasons for bringing him in.

‘He’s a young kid so he knows there is a lot to work on in his game if he wants to make it to the highest standard.

‘But he is a good kid, he wants to learn and he listens.’

After spending the season on loan at Aldershot Town last term, Bradley caught Whittingham’s eye – despite playing in a side that was eventually relegated.

But the Pompey boss was prepared to take a punt on him when other managers decided against it.

‘He had been at Aldershot in a team that got relegated,’ said Whittingham.

‘So do you go and get someone who is a centre-back from a team that’s been relegated?

‘But we watched him a couple of times and we felt he would do well for us.

‘I’ve since spoken to one or two managers who said: “We looked at him and we weren’t sure but it looks like you’ve worked well with him”.

‘I think he’s got a lot of potential and has done very well so far.’

While Bradley has not been faultless since his arrival, Whittingham believes his concentration levels will improve with more games under his belt.

‘No player goes through a game and doesn’t make any mistakes,’ added Whittingham.

‘He knows there are lots of things to work on.

‘With all young players, concentration is the thing.

‘When you are not as experienced, the decisions you make are more impulsive during a game.

‘Against Fleetwood recently, Sonny tried to step up to play offside and, perhaps if he had covered and gone with the striker, he might not have got through so easily.

‘He then recovered fantastically and was then so unfortunate when it rebounded off him and went in.

‘But in four or five years, he might decide to drop off in that situation and that goal probably doesn’t happen.’

Whittingham also believes rival clubs are keeping tabs on his ever-present defender.

The Blues boss said: ‘I don’t know if they are watching him specifically, but we always get a list of which scouts are at our games.

‘We’ve certainly had a few watching us this season. And we’ve got a pretty good idea of who they are watching.’