Pompey Academy seize chance to impress first-team staff

Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris   Picture: Neil Marshall
Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris Picture: Neil Marshall
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Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris has praised his young players for seizing the initiative and catching the attention of the Blues’ first-team staff.

That’s after Tuesday afternoon’s scheduled Youth Alliance League south west clash at table-toppers Plymouth Argyle was switched to the club’s Copnor Road training base.

It was a good chance for the first team staff to see the boys play which they obviously wouldn’t have had if we had been away at Plymouth.

Pompey Academy coach Mikey Harris

And Harris’ side responded in impressive fashion, bouncing back from a disappointing 6-2 loss to Swindon Town to record a 3-0 win over the Pilgrims – in front of several interested onlookers.

‘We were meant to be playing away but I got a phone call from their coach to say their pitch was waterlogged and they were struggling to get on the 3G,’ said Harris.

‘He asked if they could reverse the fixture.

‘So we played at the training ground, which was good because the first-team staff came to watch.

‘They have been great in supporting the boys and hopefully a few of them impressed with their performances.

‘It was a good chance for the first-team staff to see the boys play which they obviously wouldn’t have had if we had been away at Plymouth.’

‘And it was a very good performance and result.

Harris also paid tribute to the Blues’ youngsters for the character they showed in bouncing back from their Robins defeat.

But the under-18s boss admitted to a tinge of disappointment as hopes of Merit League qualification have faded heading into Saturday’s season finale with Newport County (midday).

He said: ‘The boys weren’t on it last time out against Swindon after the Christmas break so we asked for a reaction from them and certainly got that.

‘Plymouth are a decent team as well – they are top of the league and top of the league for a reason.

‘We showed again, though, that on our day we can match anyone.

‘The disappointing thing is from a results point of view we should be comfortably in the Merit League but unfortunately we are not.

‘That is a lesson which the boys have got to learn.

‘We have still got a slim chance of getting in if we win on Saturday but we will need results elsewhere to go for us.

‘It is important the boys approach this week right.’

Harris will likely field an inexperienced side for the Exiles clash, with Brandon Joseph-Buadi this week joining the growing list of second-year scholars out on loan.

The attacker has linked up with Academy team-mates Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain and Kaleem Haitham at Wimborne Town.