Kelly hails Portsmouth’s long-term ambition

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Mark Kelly believes Pompey’s academy recruitment is starting to thrive.

The Blues have recently made two youth signings, both for fees, demonstrating the long-term ambition of Pompey owners Tornante. 

Pompey Academy boss Mark Kelly. Picture: Keith Woodland

Pompey Academy boss Mark Kelly. Picture: Keith Woodland

Croatian goalkeeper Petar Durin arrived from Italian outfit Atalanta in July.

Meanwhile, more recently Northern Ireland under-16 international Eoin Teggart has joined from Irish League Cliftonville.

Pompey have also scouted a vast number of juniors from the area, adding them to their development centres.

Kelly feels it’s important the club have branched out beyond the south coast to capture Durin and Teggart.

And Pompey’s youth chief reckons previous gaps in the club’s system are now starting to be filled.

Kelly said: ‘We had our eye on Eoin Teggart for a little while and we chased him from Northern Ireland.

‘He’s got some excellent attributes and it’s great the club are now starting to branch out.

‘The recruitment department are starting to do their job, which is brilliant.

‘Things are happening that have been missing, really.

‘You can tell the gaps are being filled.

‘Even our little development centres have hundreds of kids at them from different clubs and different areas.

‘You can tell our recruitment is starting to thrive.

‘There is progression but we also need balance.

‘You’ve got to be careful you don’t overflow what we’ve got because we have had a lot of good, local talent come through the club.

‘But we want to make sure there are one of two who we get in.’