Pompey youngsters relishing fresh start under Appleton

Lewis Stockford
Lewis Stockford
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Pompey’s new era under Michael Appleton has begun.

And with it brings a fresh start for two local youngsters eager to become the Fratton Park future.

Lewis Tallack and Lewis Stockford have spent the past two months on loan at Dorchester and Salisbury respectively.

They were loan switches to the Blue Square Bet South to boost their football development.

And now they are back at Pompey.

The end of the loan spells coincided with Appleton’s entrance into the club as boss.

He took his first training session on Monday, with Tallack in attendance.

Stockford returned to the Blues squad on Tuesday once his loan at Salisbury had finished after eight matches.

The first-year professionals represented Pompey in pre-season, under Steve Cotterill.

However, they did not manage to break into the first-team squad during the current campaign.

Now they have a new manager to convince.

And Stockford, from Southsea, is hoping to make the most of a fresh opportunity to catch the eye of the man in charge.

He said: ‘It’s great to be back at Pompey and a chance to see if the manager likes me.

‘I’m training with the first team again following my few months at Salisbury.

‘For me it’s a fresh start.

‘I started really well training with Steve Cotterill in the summer and he put me in the starting line-up in the Havant & Waterlooville friendly.

‘He seemed to rate me and I was doing really well in training.

‘Unfortunately I lost a bit of confidence and when you are down everything goes wrong for you.

‘I had an amazing chance and if I had kept playing the way I can maybe it would have turned out different.

‘Now this is a fresh start and if I do get my chance I must take it.

‘It’s up to me to show the new manager what I can do during training and hopefully everything can go from there.’

Tallack, from Waterlooville, spent two months on loan at Dorchester Town.

During that time the right-back made six appearances, all of them starts, and impressed the Avenue Stadium faithful.

The non-league side were eager to extend his month-by-month loan spell but the 19-year-old is keen to show Appleton what he can do.

The ex-Crookhorn Community School pupil didn’t make the pre-season tour to America.

His sole summer appearance came as a 71st-minute substitute against the Hawks.

On the other hand, Stockford appeared in all four pre-season games, three of which came as a substitute.

The midfielder went on to play for Salisbury City, where he made eight appearances, six of them starts.

And the former Priory School pupil believes his time at the Blue Square Bet South club has benefited him.

Stockford added: ‘I really enjoyed Salisbury, it’s a really good club and everyone was welcoming.

‘I learned so much from that experience and will definitely go back and see them some time.

‘They had an experienced midfielder, Stuart Anderson, recently come back from injury and I had been covering for him.

‘So it was decided I would come back.

‘Now I must show what I can do and how much I learned being at Salisbury.’