POMPEY’S Academy will get the chance to test themselves in the Central League Cup.
A young side will get the chance of competitive minutes tomorrow as they travel to face Bristol Rovers (11am).
Keeper Alex Bass will be the only player from the first-team squad involved in the game being played at Yate in South Gloucestershire.
Mikey Harris will oversee the outfit for the group stage fixture with the Blues also set to face Bristol City and AFC Wimbledon.
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett feels the match is a good opportunity for emerging talents at the club to be pushed.
The game is viewed as a reserve fixture, meaning there are no restrictions on the players who can be fielded.
Jackett said: ‘It will be mainly a youth team.
‘Alex Bass is going to play, but after that it will be a youth team.
‘It’s for development squads and in terms of opposition they will be playing against other development squads.
‘So that’s quite good for our youth team. We want that for them.
‘There’s a varying degree of standards in youth-team football, no disrespect to the oppositions.
‘Sometimes some of the teams they play on a Saturday don’t always test the lads.
‘So to play on a Tuesday against a development squad will be good for them.
‘We obviously don’t have that for the three young pros - Oxlade-Chamberlain, Bedford and Widdrington.
‘They are out on loan anyway rather than staying here. They are out in the Conference South and have a full game’s programme.
‘So for our youth team it will be good for them to play against a development side.’
Jackett has chosen to give a young Pompey team a run-out in the competition with a busy period on the horizon for his first-team squad.
Pompey have two mid-week games on the bounce after this weekend’s trip to face Scunthorpe.
On top of that, there are Premier League Cup fixtures against Leicester, Barnsley and Everton to be fulfilled. Details of the dates of those games are to be confirmed.
Jackett was taking those games into account when considering the Rovers game.
He said: ‘First-team wise we have a mid-week game next week and then the Checkatrade Trophy.
‘It goes boom, boom, boom after that, so we need the players for those games.’
- JORDAN CROSS