The Portsmouth pair who secured prized capture of Curtis

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They are the two unsung heroes responsible for bringing Ronan Curtis to Fratton Park.

Now Pompey’s boss has pushed Phil Boardman and Tony Brown into the spotlight to receive the credit for one of the deals of the summer.

Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring the first goal against Plymouth.  Picture: Barry Zee.

Ronan Curtis celebrates scoring the first goal against Plymouth. Picture: Barry Zee.

Boardman was appointed the Blues’ head of recruitment in September 2017, while Tony Brown is the club’s chief operating officer.

They were instrumental in the capture of Curtis from Derry City for an undisclosed fee in May, ending a long – and testing – negotiation process.

The Republic of Ireland under-21 international has gone on to net five times in his opening seven matches, becoming an instant Fratton hit.

And for Jackett, there are two people in particular responsible for the deal.

He said: ‘Ronan coming to us is particularly down to Phil Boardman and Tony Brown.

‘It wasn’t an easy situation with him playing summer football and his club keen to do a deal, but wanting him to keep playing for them.

‘We tried to buy him quite early, but it was a difficult situation because the club needed him for a longer period.

‘In the end we persevered, we came to a compromise, with Phil Boardman and Tony Brown working very, very hard to get that deal over the line.

‘It wasn’t one that suddenly got concluded in a week, there had to be some patience, and the fact we had to respect that. Although their club didn’t want to stand in his way, they needed him for a period of the season.

‘Phil and Tony are the two that worked very, very hard over the summer period. Fair enough, it’s their job, but it wasn’t an easy one concluded in a week of phonecalls, it was an ongoing situation.

‘We had to work with the club (Derry) to actually help them, because they needed him for quite an extended period.’

Curtis is currently away on under-21 international duty with the Republic of Ireland.

As a consequence, he missed the midweek Checkatrade Trophy win over Gillingham and will also be absent against Shrewsbury.