From Wembley to Westleigh Park: Pompey new boy aiming to impress

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis celebrates Huddersfields Championship play-off win against Reading at Wembley
Tareiq Holmes-Dennis celebrates Huddersfields Championship play-off win against Reading at Wembley
Connor Ronan. Picture: Joe Pepler

What loan deal reveals about Pompey’s transfer policy

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Tareiq Holmes-Dennis’ season culminated in Wembley celebrations witnessed by 76,682 supporters.

Now the left-back is eyeing Westleigh Park as the stage to provide his return to action.

Left-back Tareiq Holmes-Dennis is Pompeys second signing of the summer

Left-back Tareiq Holmes-Dennis is Pompeys second signing of the summer

Holmes-Dennis has arrived at Fratton Park on a season-long loan aimed at boosting his development.

The highly-regarded 21-year-old was an unused substitute for Huddersfield in last season’s play-off final triumph over Reading.

That May occasion was settled by a penalty shootout, earning the Terriers a prized place in the Premier League.

Magnificent memories for the youngster, who could make his Blues bow in Saturday’s friendly at the Hawks.

I did my research and spoke to Danny Rose and Conor Chaplin ahead of the move

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis

He said: ‘It was crazy, an unreal day at Wembley. I think I was more nervous watching than the people playing!

‘Previously, in the second-leg semi-final against Sheffield Wednesday, I came on for 16 minutes in extra-time in place of Rajiv van La Parra on the left-wing.

‘I was instructed to shore up the left-hand side and strengthen us defensively.

‘Last season I started 11 games for Huddersfield and also came off the bench a few times, so I think the manager had faith in me.

‘Chris Lowe is the regular left-back and if we had a few games in a week or should he be injured then I’d play. I also featured in the FA Cup campaign.

‘But the Premier League is another level and I was prepared and ready to be sent out on loan this season.

‘To me, there was always going to be a chance they might bring in someone with more experience, so the chance to go out on loan wasn’t a shock.

‘The team were heading to Austria for pre-season, but I thought I may be going on loan elsewhere.

‘Obviously, Huddersfield have made quite a lot of signings – they have gone up to the Premier League and rightly want stay there. To be fair, with David Wagner as manager they have a chance.’

Holmes-Dennis has already experienced Fratton Park, albeit from an opposition point of view.

He represented Plymouth at left wing-back in a 2-1 defeat in April 2015, when Jed Wallace and Ryan Taylor netted for Pompey.

The former Charlton apprentice had spent the first half of that 2014-15 campaign on loan at Oxford United, where Danny Rose was his team-mate.

And he consulted the Blues midfielder while weighing up whether to move to the south coast.

He added: ‘I did my research and spoke to Danny Rose and Conor Chaplin ahead of the move.

‘I played with Danny at Oxford and he is a great guy. I trust him and what he says and he told me what a really good club this is.

‘I also have the same agent as Conor, so spoke to him as well.

‘You need that reassurance sometimes when going somewhere you don’t know too much about, but it’s a big club.

‘I also know Curtis Main and Drew Talbot and you can see that, after last season, this is a tight-knit bunch.

‘I just want to fit in, work as hard as I can and, hopefully, progress the club even more.’