Pompey diary: Jake kills The Killers… Naylor has to forego the golf clubs

Hawks have moved the kick-off time for their meeting with Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

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Gareth Evans on trial for Pompey in 2015. Picture: Joe Pepler

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The Blues are this week stationed in Cork for pre-season – and The News have accompanied them.

Here is day four of our Pompey diary...

New Pompey coach Jake Wigley

New Pompey coach Jake Wigley

As is customary at football clubs, an initiation ceremony is held to mark the arrival of any fresh faces.

For Pompey, the singing occasion was held on Sunday night – the opening day of their pre-season tour to Ireland.

Held in the area at the Fota Island Hotel serving as the players’ dining room, by all accounts Louis Dennis stole the show with his rendition of ‘Buffalo Soldier’, initially the work of Bob Marley and the Wailers.

Lee Brown contributed Don McLean’s ‘American Pie’, Tom Naylor weighed in with ‘Lean on Me’ by Bill Withers and Craig MacGillivray specialised in Uncle Kracker’s ‘Follow Me’.

Yet there was a twist in store, with new first-team coach Jake Wigley urged to also take to the stage.

Traditionally, coaches are not required to undertake such a task, with it usually confined to players only.

However, Pompey footballers decided to rip up the rule book and on Thursday night – having kindly been given five days to prepare – it was Wigley’s turn.

Now The Killers’ Mr Brightside is a fine song, but sadly the audience was not appreciative of Wigley’s earsplitting rendition.

Nor was a passing hotel worker, who declared Aberdeen’s voices the previous week far superior.

The Fota Island Resort is blessed with three golf courses, while its Deerpark Course has served as host of the Irish Open three times.

Previous winners include Colin Montgomerie and, with glorious weather this past week, the setting has been looking its best.

However, Pompey’s squad and backroom have been prohibited from getting the clubs out during their six-day stay.

Kenny Jackett’s instructions to focus on work rather than play, represents agony for kitman Kev McCormack, a regular on the fairway and formerly frequent course companion of Paul Cook.

But spare a thought for talented golfer Tom Naylor, who officially has a six handicap, although usually plays off 8-10, who has been casting longing looks at his luscious surroundings.