Catlin: New Pompey pitches our proudest achievement

From left to right: James Pollock, Mark Catlin, Kenny Jackett, Steve McLenaghan, Mark Kelly and Cllr Ken Ellcome. Picture: Steve Hill
From left to right: James Pollock, Mark Catlin, Kenny Jackett, Steve McLenaghan, Mark Kelly and Cllr Ken Ellcome. Picture: Steve Hill
Pompey's second-year scholars back in 2016 when they signed up. Picture: Colin Farmery

Crunch time approaching for fledgling Pompey talents

0
Have your say

Mark Catlin believes Pompey’s Tifosy pitch project is the greatest thing achieved during the fan-ownership era.

The Blues unveiled their two new Academy facilities at their Roko training base on Thursday – which have been purpose built to develop fledgling talent at the club.

The initiative, which raised £270,000, was set up in 2014, with supporters asked to dip into their pockets to initially gather £250,000 for the playing surfaces.

And the Fratton faithful certainly rose to the challenge as they smashed the target in just 62 days.

Pompey’s chief executive lauded everyone who contributed to the project.

Catlin said: ‘It was an unbelievably proud day to open the pitches.

‘Out of all the things we achieved during fan ownership, this stands testament as the greatest thing and the thing that gives us a legacy going forward.

‘If we are moving forward, it is so important we have a base.

‘The biggest shame from the Premier League years is they didn’t leave a legacy we could build on in the future.

‘That wasn’t to be, however, and we took up the mantle.

‘When I say we, I mean myself, the club and the fans.

‘It has given us great foundations for the future.’

The unveiling came less than 24 hours after Joe Hancott became the Blues’ youngest-ever player aged 16 years, five months and eight days.

And Catlin feels the Tifosy pitches will allow Pompey to nurture more players into the first team.

He added: ‘Joe would have been 12 or 13 when this started.

‘There is a whole crop of youngsters coming through.

‘It’s difficult to say if a player will make it or not, but having our own facility will give them a better opportunity.’

– WILL ROONEY