Pompey boss: Spell away can be making of keeper

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Alex Bass has been handed a starting spot and the backing of a three-year deal.

Now Kenny Jackett will monitor the keeper’s Torquay progress with interest as the youngster’s development cranks up.

Pompey keeper Alex Bass is on loan at Torquay United.

Pompey keeper Alex Bass is on loan at Torquay United.

Bass will spend the season on loan at the National League South club with the potential for regular first-team football.

The 20-year-old has already made two pre-season appearances for the Gulls, the latest a 4-0 victory over Poole Town on Saturday.

Boss Gary Owers has also recruited 21-year-old Shaun MacDonald from Blyth Spartans to provide goalkeeping competition.

Yet Bass will start the campaign as their number one.

Craig MacGillivray has joined Alex Bass at Pompey. Picture: Colin Farmery

Craig MacGillivray has joined Alex Bass at Pompey. Picture: Colin Farmery

And Jackett, who tied up the promising player on a three-year contract before the temporary departure, is convinced the spell can enhance his blossoming reputation.

Pompey’s boss said: ‘I like Alex, he needs to play senior football and last year was slightly unfortunate with injury to Stephen Henderson stopping him from going out.

‘But he is where he is, every year he gets stronger, and he can now play games that will really help.

‘As a manager, you would prefer his club to be as high as possible, but the problem with loaning players out is you want guaranteed football as well.

‘For us, we are confident with Torquay, they are a full-time set-up and we believe it will benefit him.

‘Alex has the first start, so it is up to him to keep the shirt.

‘It gives him a chance to develop and will be great to see him to go and play in men’s football along with the confidence that gives him.

‘You never know until the actual time when you pull him back and put him in the team and that can happen for different circumstances.

‘But I do feel a combination of training and playing games on a regular basis in goal can only help move him towards a Portsmouth call.’

In the meantime, Craig MacGillivray is Pompey’s number one, with Luke McGee serving as back-up.

Although Pompey can recall Bass during the season.

Jackett added: ‘There is a recall, it should only cover us if we have any problems, that’s the agreement.

‘Alex can concentrate on Torquay now and enjoying being the number one at that club.’

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