Sonny Bradley reflected on the perfect pre-season start for Pompey and promised: There’s a lot more to come yet.
Guy Whittingham’s side were too strong for the Hawks last night as they cruised to a 5-0 win at Westleigh Park.
The home side had plenty of play in the first half but the Blues, after completely changing their starting XI, were too quick, fit and strong for Lee Bradbury’s outfit following the interval.
It was the first chance for Sonny Bradley to get a taste of playing for his new side, after his summer arrival from Hull.
The 21-year-old slotted comfortably into the heart of defence alongside triallist Bondz N’Gala in the first half.
He showed plenty of aerial strength as Pompey went on to keep a clean sheet.
Bradley was content enough with his performance, although he knows there is still room for improvement on a personal level.
That can also be said for his team, who the centre-half feels have a lot of progress to make before the League Two season starts against Oxford on August 3.
Bradley said: ‘We’re all new so we’re getting used to each other. That’s going to take time.
‘But we got a clean sheet and looked solid, which I was pleased with.
‘Last season it seems that it was a case of putting the team together as the season went along.
‘But this time we’ve already got a good squad in both halves of the pitch.
‘I like to be dominant and try to be dominant aerially.
‘I got pulled up a bit for playing too many long balls.
‘But as I train more and get on the ball, I will learn.
‘There is room to develop.’
Bradley knows exactly what to expect from the League Two terrain Pompey will face after a loan spell at Aldershot last season.
He believes it will be a lot tougher than what the bookies are making it out for the Blues, who have been installed as favourites to take the title.
The 6ft 5in powerhouse feels the quality of the team that manager Whittingham is assembling will make Pompey a force, though –if the newly-assembled squad can settle quickly.
Bradley said: ‘I’ve played in this league before.
‘I’ve seen the quality of players in this division and there are definitely the players to do very well here.
‘We’ve been tipped to do well, but we can’t think it will be easy to win this league. It doesn’t work like that.
‘We have to gel and make it work.
‘If we can do that then hopefully we will win the league.’
Ryan Bird enjoyed a night to remember as he lined up alongside Bradley in the first half, and grabbed two goals after linking up with Pompey from non-league Burnham last week.
Bradley has been working with the striker in training every day – and likes what he has seen of him so far.
He said: ‘Since he’s come in he’s been positive and shown a good eye for goal.
‘That was seen with the goals he scored in the game.
‘I’m sure that will help his cause.
‘A striker is there to score goals and he’s done that so I bet he’s happy.’