Pompey boss keen to strengthen Borough ties

Pompey Academy prospect Matt Mayes. Picture: Colin Farmery
Pompey Academy prospect Matt Mayes. Picture: Colin Farmery
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Kenny Jackett is keen to strengthen ties with Gosport Borough.

The Pompey boss feels a link-up with their neighbours can be beneficial to both clubs.

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler

The Blues have agreed to loan academy striker Matt Mayes to Borough with fellow scholars Dan Smith and Matt Casey set to follow.

Jackett feels it is important those players now develop themselves by playing men’s football.

He said: ‘For them it’s a good thing. At 18 you should be playing men’s football – not youth football.

‘If you take Dan Smith, he was 18 in September. He’s a few months on from that now and still hasn’t played against men. I don’t think that’s right.

Gosport are struggling in their league, so hopefully one or two of our lads can freshen them up

Kenny Jackett

‘Playing against 16 and 17-year-olds isn’t going to bring you in. So get out in men’s football and get on.

‘Hopefully, it’s locally where you can keep an eye on him and develop a relationship with the club and manager.

‘You hope that, in the right way, they look after them but after that, it’s up to them to sink or swim. I feel that can be a route for us.

‘Gosport are struggling in their league, so hopefully one or two of our lads can freshen them up.

‘It gives them some new players but, for us, once we get into a pattern of playing youth players in their own football we have to take them out, push them on and test them.’

Jackett stressed the move is to help the young players’ progress – and should be viewed as such.

He said: ‘It’s a youth loan, like work experience, with an instant recall.

‘It doesn’t happen enough, it doesn’t happen early enough. It’s an alternative route to a development group.

‘It’s going through the hard way but you can still produce players doing it like that.

‘It’s good for the players to get into the pyramid. It’s not rejection. They can’t lose heart because of it.

‘It’s for their development and they still have a chance. It’s their way of working into the first team.’