KENNY JACKETT is hoping to hit the sweet spot between youth and experience at Pompey.
The Blues boss has explained why he felt it was necessary to significantly bring the average age of his side down.
Jackett has employed a clear policy of adding youthful energy to the squad since his arrival.
The average age of the side against Bristol Rovers on Tuesday night was 24 – down from 28 on the final day of last term against Cheltenham.
Jackett acknowledged there is a sensitive balancing act to the process.
He said: ‘The age had to come down.
‘You’re always assessing do you need more experience or for the age to come down.
‘I wouldn’t say there’s an optimum age but you need to know where the winning formula is.
‘Ages of squads which get promoted is an interesting one for me.
‘Last season’s squad finished first in League Two but it needed balancing out.
‘Overall, squad planning is a big one.
‘Squad planning allied to budget and what your aim is, is an interesting one.
‘Sometimes you can get it too old and too far down the line, so you need younger players.
‘Similarly they can be too young and it’s not their season – it’s a season or two after that can be their time, while they’ve got something.
‘So overall, squad planning is a club thing and it’s a real key.
‘It obviously comes with your owners and the budget they’ve got.’
Jackett highlighted it’s not just age which is a consideration when building a squad but how much time a player has spent in the game.
He said: ‘It’s not always age but also the experience of the players.
‘You might be 24 but played 150 league games.
‘Similarly, you could be like Nicke Kabamba who is 24 but hasn’t really played in the league.
‘There’s a balance between those two things.’