Macca relishing return to training pitch

Alan McLoughlin is relishing his return to Pompey
Alan McLoughlin is relishing his return to Pompey
Matt Clarke celebrates his goal at MK Dons. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Out of the press box and onto the training pitch.

And Alan McLoughlin is loving every minute of his frontline comeback.

The Pompey hero was this week appointed senior academy coach by ex-team-mate Andy Awford.

It marks a return into the employment of the club he served for nine seasons before leaving for Wigan in December 1999.

Since then he has played for Rochdale, been player-coach at Forest Green Rovers and, of course, become a fixture on local radio.

Now, after six years on the airwaves of The Quay, Express FM and then Solent, McLoughlin is involved at Pompey once again.

The 44-year-old started his new job on Wednesday when the academy returned for the first full day of pre-season.

His remit involves predominantly working with the under-16s, where his experience will be invaluable.

And the man universally known as ‘Macca’ is relishing being back.

He said: ‘It’s great, I’ve already got training gear with AMc on, they’ve even remembered the small “c”.

‘There’s no number four on there, though, which is a shame!

‘In seriousness, it’s fantastic to be back working for Pompey again. One of the saddest days of my footballing career was when I left Pompey.

‘Now I’m back and doing something I have been waiting to do and get involved in.

‘To give up my commentary work was difficult because I absolutely loved doing it.

‘But it was time for a change I felt and this is the sort of area at a football club I can really get my teeth into.

‘Getting back into football is exciting. Getting back into Pompey is even more exciting. It means a lot, my family knows just what it means to me.

‘But it is not about me, it is about what I bring to the table and helping these young lads develop.

‘Everything I learned from 14 to 18 turned out to be the most important footballing years of my life. I’m hoping the lads can take it on board and utilise it.’

McLoughlin comes to Pompey equipped with his Uefa A Licence.

He added: ‘You cannot get a job like this if you are not qualified.

‘I did my badges six years ago – I had that in my locker.

‘The only one I don’t have is the Pro Licence. Then again that is something you need if you want to manage in the Premier League!’