Brighton set to steal key Portsmouth figure

Pompey's Dave Wright is set to join Premier League Brighton
Pompey's Dave Wright is set to join Premier League Brighton
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Dave Wright is set to be poached by Brighton.

Pompey’s head of academy performance and recruitment is being headhunted by the Premier League outfit to oversee their youth recruitment.

FA technical director, Dan Ashworth, wants to take Wright to the Amex Stadium following his link-up with the Seagulls, after five years at the head of the national game.

It’s a blow for the Blues after Wright joined in February as part of their own academy overhaul.

Chief executive Mark Catlin stated the 38-year-old continues work for Pompey at present.

He said: ‘David is currently employed by the football club and if that situation was to change the club would then comment on it.’

Have you read? Exit of key figure a loss to Pompey

Wright’s arrival was heralded as a coup when he returned to the club he came through the ranks with as a midfielder.

The former City Boys student was given the remit of overseeing changes in tandem with academy manager Mark Kelly.

Wright has set about that job working with the club’s owners, who’ve pinpointed youth development as a key area of focus.

The path forward on that front has still to become clear, although there has been a couple of promising young players signed from overseas in Irish winger Eoin Teggart and Croatia keeper Petar Durin.

Now Wright looks certain to follow popular academy coach, Mikey Harris, who agreed a move to Brighton to work with the club’s under-18 team last November.

It looks a move Pompey will find hard to resist, with the Seagulls looking to invest heavily in their academy.

That privately is accepted by the Blues, given the attractiveness of the position with a progressive top-flight outfit.

Wright will be expected to work out a three-month notice period, however, before he leaves his hometown club to take on the role.

The former senior pro was born and raised in the city and captained the youth team, before moving on to Crystal Palace and eventually seeing his career cut short by injury.

After working at Pompey for seven years as an academy coach, Wright went on to head up Premier League Stoke’s academy for six-and-a-half years - establishing the Potters as a Category One academy.

The former Solent United and Widbrook United junior then took on a position with academy auditors Double Pass before his arrival at Fratton Park.

Now it appears certain Wright will be moving on, leaving a sizeable void in Pompey's youth set-up.