East relishing Pompey fresh start with his childhood friend

Danny East and Sonny Bradley have signed for Pompey after coming through the Hull youth ranks together
Danny East and Sonny Bradley have signed for Pompey after coming through the Hull youth ranks together
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They locked horns in local kids football before progressing to become team-mates at Hull.

Now Danny East and Sonny Bradley have finally bid goodbye to the city in which they were born and bred.

And through a footballing quirk, they find themselves together again – this time with Fratton Park as the backdrop.

The 21-year-old pair were both released by Steve Bruce’s Tigers this summer and promptly became Guy Whittingham’s earliest signings in a hectic recruitment drive since the end of last season.

According to East, it was central defender Bradley who was targeted first, trailblazing the way to Pompey.

Then came his versatile team-mate – the duo signing on the same day, before being unveiled at precisely the same time.

A familiar face in the dressing room then for East, who spent time on loan at Gillingham and Northampton last season.

And a one-time adversary who has since established himself as a very good friend.

East said: ‘Me and Sonny have known each other more than 10 years now.

‘Even before we were at Hull we played against each other in the local leagues so always knew each other.

‘I was at Hessle Sporting and he was at Bilton so we faced each other plenty of times. It was always a good game.

‘Being both from Hull, our brothers know each other and our mams and dads do as well through football.

‘Then we were in the same Hull youth team together, we have always been in the same age group.

‘We have played in the back four, I have played in front of him in a midfield position and we have always got along.

‘I have even partnered him in the centre of defence many times for the reserves.

‘We are both quite demanding players and are both winners, we’ve really enjoyed it at centre half.

‘It’s a bit crazy, really, that we are both at Portsmouth together now.

‘Before we signed, Sonny rang me and said “Portsmouth are interested in you, they have been asking about you” – and 10 minutes later I got a phone call from Portsmouth!

‘They did their homework on me and thankfully they really liked me.

‘Me and Sonny are good mates, we have always been good mates.

‘It’s good to come down and know a face already.’

East made two appearances for his home-town club, both coming in cup competitions.

Last term he spent time on loan in League Two at Northampton (19 appearances) and Gillingham (two) as his KC Stadium career wound down to a close.

Now the former Hull trainee finds himself on the south coast with a new club and a new home to settle into.

And he’s relishing the season which lies ahead.

He added: ‘I had a feeling I was getting released.

‘I wasn’t playing regular football and was spending the year out on loan so I knew at Hull my time was coming to an end.

‘Being a Hull lad it wasn’t the greatest feeling but I knew I had to play first-team football, and if that meant moving so be it.

‘I’ve lived away for a year so I have no problems moving away – and I’ve come somewhere so beautiful down south like Portsmouth.’