Rough diamonds are worth a Pompey punt

Danny Rose and Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler
Danny Rose and Jamal Lowe. Picture: Joe Pepler
New Pompey keeper Craig MacGillivray

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Louis Dennis has been backed to fit into the framework of Pompey’s starting XI.

And Danny Rose believes the Blues will continue to strike gold with their policy of signing non-league prospects.

Ronan Curtis. Picture: Portsmouth FC

Ronan Curtis. Picture: Portsmouth FC

Dennis last month became the second arrival of the summer after arriving from National League outfit Bromley.

The 25-year-old brought a pace and goal threat to that level, to attract Kenny Jackett’s interest.

Rose thinks the former Dagenham & Redbridge man’s assets could blend well in the 4-1-4-1 formation Jackett used at the end of last season.

Dennis arriving at the same time as Irish talent Ronan Curtis, drawing some criticism from a section of fans, with both men short on league experience. Craig MacGillivray and Tom Naylor have since followed with Lee Brown and Anton Walkes set to join – with all of those players knowing about the demands of League One.

Louis Dennis. Picture: Neil Weld/Portsmouth FC

Louis Dennis. Picture: Neil Weld/Portsmouth FC

Rose believes melding experience with untried players is a gamble worth taking – with Jamal Lowe recent evidence of how that can succeed.

Rose said: ‘Jamal’s a prime example of what can happen.

‘I’m sure fans want to see signings, say, of the calibre of Brett Pitman who’s got Championship-level experience and score goals.

‘If we were to bring in that type of player in whatever position it would be, of course it would add to the group.

‘But I know the club is looking to go forward by bringing younger players through.

‘Maybe they’re not looking to throw ridiculous sums of money at the playing squad right now.

‘So maybe an option is to look at players from smaller clubs, who will not require as big a financial package.

‘We have been able to identify players of real potential in the lower leagues.

‘If you look at players like Louis Dennis, he has been able to score quite a few goals over the past few years for Bromley.

‘You can see from the way he played he would be able to fit into our system.

‘You can see why the club has been looking at him for quite a while.

‘So we’ve taken a punt on him and hopefully he’s another player who will arrive and adapt to life in League One like he‘s been there his whole career.’

Lowe may have proved a success, but it didn’t work out for his former Hampton & Richmond team-mate Nicke Kabamba at Pompey.

Rose feels that will always happen when giving non-league players a chance, and the key is get a reasonable success rate.

He added: ‘It didn’t work out for Nicke.

‘He’ll look back and think he maybe didn’t get the chance to showcase he could play.

‘Sometimes it doesn’t happen, though, for one reason or another.

‘But of the four or five you might sign who don’t cost vast amounts of money, if you get one or two who come through and are regulars in that squad that’s the reason why you do it.’