BRETT PITMAN became the first Pompey player in 15 years to smash through the 20-goal barrier.
His Blues striking presence yielded 25 goals in 41 outings to inspire Kenny Jackett’s side to an eighth-place finish in League One.
In his own words, GARETH EVANS analyses the immense contribution of his Fratton Park team-mate and skipper.
Being a marquee signing for a club like Portsmouth comes with pressure, especially if you’re a striker.
There are thousands of fans packed into Fratton Park every other week that are expecting big things, which is why you can only take your hat off to Brett Pitman.
He has scored some vitally important goals for the team, and a record of 24 goals in 38 league games speaks for itself. He’s had a fantastic season.
It was somewhat surprising when he arrived at the training ground last summer, stepping down from the Championship where he had been with Ipswich.
From his point of view, though, it was an easy decision and he was relishing the challenge.
‘It’s a big club and one I’m looking forward to playing for, there isn’t another club I would’ve dropped down a league for,’ he said at the time.
The stage was now set and it was all eyes on Pitman.
As soon as he had his boots on, though, it was obvious what he was going to bring to the team.
I wouldn’t call him a workhorse, I wouldn’t call him a hold-up player, he quite simply knows where the net is.
Countless times this season he has won us games with his natural ability of putting the ball in the net. Every day in training he scores goal after goal, so it isn’t a surprise when you see him scoring on a Saturday. His finishing is exemplary.
Not only that, he has been our captain and our leader. If something in the changing room needs to be said it’s usually the skipper piping up.
He can be a bit overzealous in his approach to motivating sometimes, but it’s because he is a winner and losing hurts. You don’t win anything through being a soft touch.
So, for all the banter about his dress sense and his hairline, I have nothing but admiration for the way he has gone about his business this season.
‘If I had stayed fit all season I would’ve won the golden boot,’ Pitman often tells us.
A typically cheeky comment from the man who simply scores goals.