Jamal Lowe has backed his meteoric rise to continue with Pompey.
The rising star reflected on a whirlwind year which has seen him go from non-league prospect to a cornerstone of Kenny Jackett’s Blues side.
Lowe is now out to continue to build his reputation as one of the most promising players in League One as his side go to Charlton Athletic.
The 23-year-old has undertaken hurtling development in the 12 months he has been a Pompey player.
The attacking ace moved to the city a year ago before a deal was officially sealed to sign from Hampton & Richmond in January.
In that time he scored the goals which delivered promotion to the third tier before Paul Cook’s side dramatically lifted the title.
This term Jackett has highlighted Lowe as a crucial cog in his side, with his pace and power seen as key to the way the manager wants to play.
Lowe spoke of his journey since signing for Pompey – and feels he could be a Championship player in royal blue next season.
He said: ‘A year ago I was playing at Hampton & Richmond in the Conference South and not a dad.
‘Now I am a dad playing in League One for Pompey. It is a massive change.
‘I was a bit nervous because of the move. I was pretty much moved out when I was living in London anyway.
‘It was getting to know all of the boys and getting into training. I was nervous and excited.
‘You want to show what you can do because you know people are going to be trying to suss you out.
‘I didn’t want to look out of place. I wanted to show I was worthy of being here. After a while, though, I was fine.
‘I could not have asked for much more than the welcome I got. I was welcomed with open arms.
‘Now I think the top six are still in our sights.
‘I know some teams have games in hand but points are better than games in hand.
‘I think we are still quite close. Anything can happen.
‘A year from now, we could be anywhere. We could be in the Championship.
‘You just can never tell. Who knows?’
Lowe feels the past year has seen the qualities he showed when he was out of the professional game come to fruition.
‘I was that man looking at players getting moves,’ added the winger.
‘That was me. I saw players signings for clubs and moving from non league.
‘I remember thinking I wish it was me. That was what I was aspiring to.
‘Application is a big one. There is a lot of ability out there but without working hard to apply and show it, you won’t get anywhere.
‘Mental strength is another one. There are people who really care about football – and people who don’t care as much.
‘It’s all mental strength when things don’t go your way. That’s been a big factor.’