Pompey hero set to return as youth boss

Former Pompey striker Luke Nightingale

Hometown favourite set for Pompey return

Andy Awford is set to be unveiled as Pompey's new Academy manager.

The Blues hero will complete an emotional return to his one-and-only club by being named as head of the club's youth set-up.

Awford will take up the post, with Steve Cotterill keen to appoint a hands-on figure to rejuvenate Pompey's recruitment and development.

The 38-year-old, who made 341 appearances for the Blues after joining the club as a 15-year-old, will arrive in the position for an interim period with a view to a longer-term stay.

Awford is determined to see Pompey produce a steady stream of talent again and get the kind of fundamentals in place he feels have been missing.

The likes of Gary O'Neil, Marc Wilson, Asmir Begovic, Rowan Vine, James Keene, Matt Ritchie and Joel Ward have come through the ranks in recent times – and Awford wants to see a return to that quality being produced.

He said: 'It's a huge job but I'm really excited to be coming back to the club.

'It's not going to happen overnight but I've had a conversation with Steve and we're singing from the same hymn sheet.

'I know the club and how it works and hopefully people feel I have the knowledge to put in place what is needed.

'We need to start being competitive in and around the local area again and getting the recruitment right.

'We have produced footballers here with worse facilities than we have now.

'There are good, honest people who want to work for this club and do well. It's important we move together as one. I can't wait to get started.'