Robbie Blake believes Matt Casey has a big chance of making an impact at Pompey.
The second-year academy scholar helped the reserves keep a clean sheet in their goalless draw against Leicester City in the Premier League Cup on Monday.
Casey was partnered by the experienced Drew Talbot in central defence at Holmes Park.
Blake was impressed by the Botley talent’s performance.
And the first-team coach feels Casey has a big future.
Blake said: ‘Drew is a fantastic example of a professional.
‘It was a great experience for Matty to have someone of Drew’s quality and experience next to him.
‘Matty is still learning the game but he has got a real chance if he keeps doing what he is doing and continues to apply himself.
‘He will come on in big spells like he has done since pre-season.’
After featuring against the Foxes, Casey was a substitute for the academy’s 3-2 victory against Bournemouth on Wednesday at the club’s Roko training base.
Youth chief Mark Kelly also saluted the youngster after the Leicester draw.
He said: ‘Matt did well and had a very good game up there.
‘It was a solid performance and it was good for Matt.
‘He played 90 minutes and it also gave us an opportunity for one of the other lads to step in against Bournemouth.
‘Matt came on for a little bit but it gave other people opportunities and that is what it is all about.’