Pompey put faith in Academy eight

Ashley Harris made a big impression at Pompey this season
Ashley Harris made a big impression at Pompey this season
Nathan Thompson played in a central midfield role against Scunthorpe. Picture: Joe Pepler

Rotherham v Pompey: pre-match talking points

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Pompey have offered home-grown products Ashley Harris and Dan Butler new contracts.

And six Academy players have become first-year professionals as the Blues pin their future on youth.

Harris and defender Butler have completed their two-year scholarships.

They now have the opportunity to become first-year professionals next season. Purbrook’s Harris started the final two matches of the campaign and made five appearances overall.

The Fratton faithful immediately took the attacking midfielder to their hearts.

Michael Appleton has made no secret he sees the 18-year-old as a crucial part of his set-up next season.

Academy skipper Butler made 26 appearances for Andy Awford’s side this season. However, he has yet to make the first-team squad.

Six other Academy players will become first-year professionals next season under previously-agreed deals.

They include Jed Wallace, Alex Grant and Sam Magri, who all made the bench for the first-team’s season finale at Nottingham Forest.

Magri was named as a Pompey substitute five times during the campaign, yet didn’t make an appearance.

George Colson, a midfielder, scored seven goals in 24 appearances for the Academy.

Full-back Elliott Wheeler made 23 appearances for Awford’s men.

They will be joined by Dan Thompson, who signed from Hampton & Richmond last season before being loaned out to the Hawks.

The 18-year-old’s appearances at Westleigh Park were hampered by an ankle injury.

Defender Adam Webster, who made three first-team appearances, still has another season of his two-year scholarship to run.