Legend ALAN KNIGHT delivers his thoughts on Pompey’s first two signings of the summer, Ronan Curtis and Louis Dennis...
What a great opportunity our new signings have been handed.
Yes, I know there are people who have been left asking why are we signing non-league players?
But I don’t see a problem with signing players from outside the Football League and giving them a chance.
I think that’s a good thing as long as we then get the so-called bigger name signings to get people enthused – and I’m sure that will happen.
Louis Dennis and Ronan Curtis have to realise the opportunity they’ve been given and grab it with both hands.
We’ve seen Jamal Lowe do that in recent times and there’s no reason these two lads can’t do the same.
Dennis has been given a taste of league football with Dagenham & Redbridge, before dropping down to non-league level – like Lowe.
He’s taken that blow yet he’s not given up on his ambition of playing league football. Fair play to him.
He’s gone and played men’s football and not the tippy-tappy development football you see a lot of younger players playing.
It’s the same for Curtis in Ireland and that experience will hold both players in good stead, I’m sure.
I know there are a lot of fans thinking we’re better than signing lads from non-league football.
Teams like Shrewsbury have done a good job of taking players from non-league football and creating a strong side on a low budget.
With respect, though, we’re not Shrewsbury and should be doing a bit more than that.
I’m sure that will be the case, but perhaps the timing of the two signings and them being similar has given a negative impression.
They are going to be given their chance to prove themselves now, though.
Of course, there are a lot of players who’ve come over from Ireland and gone on to have very successful careers here.
Let’s hope Curtis can do the same.
It may not actually be non-league football, but that is the standard Curtis is coming from.
So there may need to be some patience as we allow him the chance to bed in.
There’s no doubt, though more experience is needed – and I don’t think the manager has hidden from that fact.
Outside of the top two, I thought the division was much of a muchness last season.
There will be an opportunity to do well next campaign.