Pompey to secure youngster’s future

Former Villa and Newcastle striker Marlon Harewood

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Kenny Jackett wants to secure Brandon Haunstrup’s Fratton Park future.

The left-back is among 15 players out of contract this summer.

Brandon Haunstrup. Picture: Joe Pepler

Brandon Haunstrup. Picture: Joe Pepler

However, Pompey possess an option to extend his existing deal for another 12 months.

And Jackett has indicated it will be activated to ensure the Waterlooville youngster remains beyond this season.

Haunstrup has impressed Jackett during a breakthrough campaign which has yielded 16 appearances.

The 21-year-old’s return to the first-team at Oldham coincided with a first clean sheet in 16 games.

We don’t want to be investing time and effort into young players and then letting them go if we think they have a future

Brandon Haunstrup

And Pompey’s boss is eager to retain a player he regards highly.

Jackett said: ‘Brandon has a future with us, definitely, and we do think he is a work in progress.

‘He is a young player I am pleased with.

‘I am sure we will talk about a contract in due course. For Brandon, anyway, there will be an offer there.

‘This season we have certainly nailed down the main ones for contracts, but there are one or two to tidy up.

‘We don’t want to be investing time and effort into young players and then letting them go if we think they have a future.

‘But it’s not just all about them, we do need some fresh players in and some older players as well. It’s not going to completely work with young players because the sum total of that doesn’t work either.

‘We are always talking to players. Right now there are not necessarily talks going on and there’s nothing close.

‘Over the next couple of months we will be addressing the ones we need to.’

In addition to seven loanees scheduled to return to their clubs, Pompey have another eight out of contract at the season’s end.

Kal Naismith is the main figure, while there are also Christian Oxlade-Chamberlain, Adam May, Alex Bass, Nicke Kabamba, Theo Widdrington and Jez Bedford.

And, of course, Haunstrup.

Jackett added: ‘Left-back is a hard position to fill, as we’ve found out this season.

‘Brandon’s come into the side as a good, attacking full-back and certain aspects of his defending need to pick up – but he can do that.

‘Sometimes his heading, sometimes his one-v-one play, but what I like about him is he has good pace and comes out at the right time.

‘When the ball goes out to him on the side I am quite optimistic because he has enough quality, enough crossing ability, to make things happen.

‘He’s another one that didn’t need the injury when it came, he needed to keep progressing. Previously it has been very tough for him with Enda Stevens here, one of the stand-out players and never injured.

‘For Brandon to actually get the games has been difficult – until this season.

‘He’s back now, anyway, and needs to make a big statement until the end of the season.’