‘Humble’ Ben Tollitt keeping feet on Pompey ground

Ben Tollitt celebrates his maiden Pompey goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Tollitt celebrates his maiden Pompey goal. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Rookie winger has a goal and an assist from his first three Football League appearances
  • Tollitt featured in the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier last season
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Leam Richardson is adamant ‘humble’ Ben Tollitt is keeping his feet on the ground as he takes to the Football League at pace.

The 20-year-old netted his maiden Blues goal in Tuesday night’s 6-0 romp over struggling York City.

Ben has certainly improved since he got here, we have put a lot of emphasis on him as a player and a man with his work

Leam Richardson

It followed laying on Caolan Lavery’s goal in the 2-2 draw at Carlisle last weekend.

The former Skelmersdale winger has made only three League Two appearances, all coming from the bench, yet already has provided a terrific impact.

For the slightly-built Tollitt, there is still a way to go before establishing himself both in Paul Cook’s first team and at this level.

Yet the Blues’ assistant boss has been delighted with the former Everton trainee’s continued development.

Richardson said: ‘It was brilliant to see Ben score against York, I am made up for him.

‘When a lad gets a milestone like that, especially a young lad, it is one of those nights he will never forget – and Ben Tollitt certainly won’t forget Tuesday night.

‘He came on against Carlisle on Saturday and had a great impact, then did that again on Tuesday night.

‘He’s alright is Ben, his feet are on the ground, he’s a very humble lad, he listens and hangs on every word myself and the gaffer tell him.

‘The lad wanted to come down to Portsmouth to be a player and he is certainly coming on in strides.

‘He is watching and learning through the week.

‘He’s had a good week this week, certainly after Saturday he continues to learn and York was a great night for him.

‘He will never forget that because it was a great goal.’

Tollitt’s strike, turning home Enda Stevens’ superb cross from the left, arrived in front of the Milton end.

It was a moment to cherish for the youngster, who initially arrived on trial at Fratton Park having last season featured in the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier.

In mid-July he signed a 12-month Blues deal in a bid to break into the Football League.

Tollitt, who turns 21 next week, has so far made six first-team appearances – his sole start coming in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy at Exeter City.

In the meantime, he is continuing to develop under the watchful eye of Cook and his coaching staff.

And Richardson is impressed with the Fratton progression of the youngster.

He added: ‘Ben has certainly improved since he got here.

‘We have put a lot of emphasis on him as a player and a man with his work.

‘There has been gym work, speed work and strength work, he is working a lot with Adrian Cooke and his body fat and body mass have come on really, really well.

‘After Christmas it will be more results like that and I think you’ll see a strong Ben Tollitt towards the end of the season.’