POMPEY ACADEMY will put their unbeaten Merit League 1 record on the line when they travel to AFC Bournemouth on Saturday (10.30am).
The Blues have enjoyed an impressive start to life in the newly-formed league – comprised of the best teams from the Youth Alliance League south west and south east divisions.
An opening-day stalemate with Stevenage was followed by an away win at Swindon Town (2-1) and Saturday’s 2-0 home triumph against Watford.
That has left Mikey Harris’ side in second place in the early standings, with only Plymouth Argyle’s superior goals-scored record keeping them off the summit.
Harris, though, knows the Cherries, who are also undefeated, will represent a stern challenge for his side – having lost both previous meetings with their south-coast neighbours in Youth Alliance League action.
The Blues, however, could be boosted by the recovery of defender Calvin Davies, who was substituted in the first-half of the Hornets victory.
Davies was caught by an intentional elbow from counterpart Mahlondo Martin at Furze Lane but his injury, which earned the visiting offender a red card, is not as bad as first feared.
Harris said: ‘He went and got checked out.
‘The doc is at all of our games so we had him check him out.
‘Basically then what happens is he follows a concussion procedure, which involves various checks he has to pass with the physio before he is allowed to compete again.
‘It is a graded return, so he does a certain level of exercise and then builds it up to make sure there are no underlying problems.
‘That’s something we followed to the letter of the law.
‘The signs are he is all alright and should be fine.
‘Hopefully, once he goes through the process, we will see whether he can be available for Saturday’s game.’
Winger Brandon Joseph-Buadi, who sat out the win over Watford with a hip flexor injury, remains a doubt – as does Chad Field, who was caught late on in the clash by a poor tackle.
The strength of side put out by Harris and Academy boss Mark Kelly may also be influenced by the reserve team’s fixture with Bristol City on Monday.
But regardless of the 11 selected, Harris knows his side are in for a tough game.
He said: ‘They are all tough games and that is what you want.
‘Bournemouth are a good side but we will have to go into the game with one eye on the fact we have a development (reserves) game on Monday as well.
‘It will be a challenging few days but we are all looking forward to it.’