Bradford City’s remarkable cup-conquering antics ensured Tom Naylor’s Valley Parade stay was a frustrating one.
Now the former Bantams loanee will revisit West Yorkshire on Saturday with table-topping Pompey.
It was during the 2012-13 campaign when Phil Parkinson’s League Two side eliminated Premier League trio Wigan, Arsenal and Villa to reach the Capital One Cup final.
Naylor was also present for the majority of a magnificent run which ultimately ended in Wembley defeat against Swansea, albeit as a non-playing participant.
Having joined Bradford on loan from Derby as a centre-half, he was cup-tied following an earlier appearance with the Rams.
Meanwhile, his league involvement was restricted to just seven games in three-and-a-half months as boss Parkinson opted to retain a winning side.
Naylor’s spell was eventually cut short in February 2013, allowing him to see out the season with regular first-team football at Blue Square Premier side Grimsby.
That was five-and-a-half years ago – now he returns with the League One leaders.
He said: That was my first loan move from Derby. I was aged 21 and thought it was going to be a great club to go to.
‘Unfortunately, I didn’t play as much as I would have liked, but it’s one of those things, they were doing well at the time and I couldn’t really grumble.
‘I missed out on the big games in that cup run as I wasn’t eligible, but watched the Arsenal and Villa games, the team were on fire.
‘They were doing so well in the cup run that they kept the same side, which was fair enough, but it was frustrating not playing – so the loan spell was cut short and I came back to go to Grimsby.
‘I played seven times at centre-half for Bradford, which wasn’t a lot. They were doing so well and even if you bring in loan players, it can be hard to change the side.
‘At the end of the season Bradford won promotion to League One, but I had gone back to Derby by then.’
Naylor lost his League One ever-present record for Pompey last weekend.
Having accumulated five bookings, he sat out the 1-1 draw at Accrington Stanley, with Ben Close deputising.
The 27-year-old has now served his one-match ban and will come straight back into Kenny Jackett’s side at Valley Parade.
Naylor added: ‘As I was banned, the gaffer told me to go up north and see the family, which was nice of him.
‘It was frustrating waking up on Saturday morning knowing I wasn’t playing. I had played every league game up until that point – and hopefully won’t miss any more.
‘When I got booked against Burton I didn’t think about being suspended, but at the end of the game the gaffer asked if that was five bookings now. Then I remembered I would be suspended for Accrington.
‘I wasn’t in a very good mood that night!’