Pompey target local pre-season friendlies

Pompey and Hawks will meet again
Pompey and Hawks will meet again
Niko Kranjcar. Picture: Joe Gidden/ PA Images

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POMPEY have pledged to visit their non-league neighbours as the pre-season programme begins to take shape.

Kenny Jackett’s side face Cork (July 2) before kicking off their summer fixtures in this country at Lee Bradbury’s Hawks (July 7).

We’ve had a lot of requests, this year and last, and obviously haven’t been able to play everybody because you need some different games

Kenny Jackett

The Westleigh Park encounter is a well-established pre-season match, this term offering National League opposition following their promotion.

Yet there also remains scope to face other non-league clubs in local circles.

Bognor, Salisbury, Poole and Newport Isle of Wight staged games against Pompey last summer.

While Gosport are due a fixture – and are owned by former Blues chairman Iain McInnes.

The likelihood is the majority of such matches will take place on a Tuesday night against a Pompey XI.

And Jackett is attempting to help out as many of his neighbours as possible.

He said: ‘We are trying to fulfil the expectancy of the local clubs – and I do think it’s important for Portsmouth to play against some of them.

‘We’ve had a lot of requests, this year and last, and obviously haven’t been able to play everybody because you need some different games, but we have tried to be good to our local sides.

‘You cannot play everyone and you cannot play your whole programme just against non-league clubs, it doesn’t necessarily work.

‘Trying to get a balance of those is important to me and I’m thinking if, in future years, we can save up one or two favours or pay them back.

‘We are looking at every weekend and most Tuesdays. With the midweek games, at certain times we will put out lads who haven’t had a game at the weekend and some of the young boys.’