ADAM MAY believes his season at Sutton United helped him reach footballing maturity.
The midfielder feels spending the last campaign in the National League proved successful in developing his game.
May got 29 appearances under his belt with the U’s in his first meaningful spell away from Fratton Park.
The 19-year-old believes dealing with the physicality of the game with the London side at that level allowed him take a big step along his football learning curve.
And May feels the confidence he has taken will benefit Pompey as he shows a determination to now get minutes under his belt in Kenny Jackett’s outfit.
He said: ‘I’ve had a taste of being around the first team for a long time now.
‘But going out last season was massive for me because I needed game time.
‘I needed to see how the man’s game is with still being quite young.
‘It’s definitely developed and helped my game.
‘Now I’ve had a taste of it I want to strive for more.
‘It made me more confident in myself and my own ability.
‘I went through a spell the season before where I wasn’t getting a lot of game time. It was frustrating.
‘You are pushing and pushing but it’s a talented squad.
‘I went from the youth team to the men’s game. There’s a sharp change from under-23 football. I enjoyed it at Sutton. I have a lot of thanks to give the manager for giving me my chance.
‘You educate yourself along the way really.
‘I got over 25 games under my belt and did that.
‘That’s a return I’m happy with and I ended the season quite well.
‘Now it’s about how you approach it and how well you do in those pre-season games.
‘Hopefully, I can get off to a good start, impress the manager and go from there.’
May’s stay at Gander Green Lane became a high-profile affair off the back of Sutton’s storming run in the FA Cup.
AFC Wimbledon and Leeds were dispatched, paving the way for a clash with Arsenal.
A side including the likes of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Granit Xhaka, Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott were pushed hard before the Gunners picked up a 2-0 win.
That run offered the kind of experience May never expected when agreeing to the move, helping his education further.
May added: ‘The FA Cup was a bonus.
‘It was a real blessing in disguise.
‘To have a cup run was never the intention going there.
‘I didn’t think the Wimbledon game would be bettered.
‘Then came Leeds and you wonder if it’s really happening.
‘It was a bunch of part-time lads in the Conference.
‘I think even the manager felt it was about enjoying the day rather than expecting to win. We defied all the odds.
‘It meant we got to go up against Arsenal and that’s a memory I’ll never forget.’
- JORDAN CROSS