Last-ditch bid didn’t deter Holmes

21/6/13    ''New Pompey signing Ricky Holmes''Picture: Paul Jacobs  (131757-6)
21/6/13 ''New Pompey signing Ricky Holmes''Picture: Paul Jacobs (131757-6)
Pompey chief executive Mark Catlin. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Ricky Holmes ignored an 11th-hour bid for his services and promised Pompey fans: I’ll get you on your feet.

The winger completed his switch to Fratton Park yesterday as he inked a two-year deal.

That ended a protracted transfer saga which began back in May, with questions over a foot injury hindering the move for the 26-year-old.

But Holmes now becomes Pompey’s 14th summer signing as manager Guy Whittingham puts the finishing touches to his squad for the new season.

The former Barnet man turned down interest from the likes of Rotherham, Burton, Gillingham, Southend and Leyton Orient to join the Blues.

And there was even a desperate last-ditch bid for his services on Thursday night. Holmes made it clear there was only one place he wanted to be, though.

He promised he’s gunning to show his new club’s fans exactly what he can do.

Holmes said: ‘I was getting phone calls on Thursday night, to be honest.

‘I knew I was coming down on Friday, though, and I’d made my decision.

‘There was nowhere else I was going, even if there were League One clubs in for me. There’s been loads of clubs but hopefully signing here is a statement from me and the club.

‘I could have played a higher level, but I’m determined to get Pompey up this season. That’s what I’m here to do. This is where I want to be. My mind was here. This is where I want to earn my trade.

‘I want to excite the crowd and help put this club back where it belongs.

‘I want to get assists and get goals, get the crowd on their feet and take people on.

‘I’d say I’m pacy. My first objective is to get the ball and take the full-back on.

‘Hopefully that’s what I’ll be doing a lot here next season.’

Holmes admitted there was some concern that his move to Pompey was never going to materialise as it dragged on through the summer.

The man who has emerged from non-league football at Chelmsford City made two previous trips to Fratton Park, before sealing his switch to Pompey.

Holmes explained it was a test for him as the Blues made their moves for players.

But he underlined his confidence his injury problem is a thing of the past, and is looking forward to returning for pre-season training next week.

Holmes said: ‘I was the first person they (Pompey) spoke to. I’ve been here three times to sign so thankfully we got it over the line.

‘Everyone was signing around me, but we couldn’t get the deal done because of my previous injury.

‘I said I wanted to be here but at one point I did think it was dead in the water.

‘The injury’s fine now. It’s fully healed and the surgeon said it wouldn’t break again.

‘I’m running and playing again, so I’m ready to crack on when we come back on Thursday. I haven’t stopped working all summer and I’m ready to go.’