Varney: I’ve never been so excited

Luke Varney
Luke Varney
Pompey boss Kenny Jackett. Picture: Joe Pepler/Digital South

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Bubbling Luke Varney eyed up the season ahead and insisted: I’ve never been so excited.

Pompey represents the 28-year-old’s sixth Football League club.

Since being plucked from non-league Quorn in 2003, Varney has seen service with Crewe, Charlton, Derby, Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool.

But nowhere has filled him with as much excitement as his Pompey switch.

The striker, who joined this summer from Derby in a deal believed to be worth £750,000, capped his Blues debut against the Hawks on Monday with a stunning late strike to round off a 4-0 win.

It was an encouraging performance all-round from Steve Cotterill’s men in front of a packed West Leigh Park.

Tomorrow, Pompey entertain Chelsea at Fratton Park before jetting off to America on Sunday for a 12-day tour.

Varney has clearly been impressed with what he has seen during his time on the south coast so far.

And he is relishing being involved in what he feels can be a promising campaign.

He said: ‘I’m really excited about the coming year.

‘It is probably the most excited I’ve been in football, so it’s really exciting times.

‘Hopefully if we can have a good start, hold our own, get a few new players in and just freshen the club up a bit, it will be brilliant.

‘Like I have said before, that was the main thing for me – the ambition.

‘I heard a lot about Blackpool the year they were promoted. The lads kept telling me how good it was for them and I would have loved to have been part of that.

‘But I see us replicating something like that.

‘It’s a tough league. It doesn’t matter where you are, on any weekend anybody can beat anybody.

‘I’ve been in the Premier League and had a good part and a bad part of it, but it’s all a good learning curve for me.

‘I’m 28 but still learning. I feel like a young player, to be honest, and I’m really excited.’

For Varney, his switch to Pompey at last enables him to settle down.

He effectively lived out of a suitcase during season-long loans at Sheffield Wednesday and Blackpool.

Clearly having no future at parent club Derby, it was an uncertain period of his life.

Thankfully for Varney, he managed to get a move to Fratton Park, where he has signed a three-year deal.

Now he’s looking forward to laying down his roots with his family.

Varney added: ‘Moving here was a big decision for me.

‘My wife’s seven months pregnant, so to uproot from Leicester and come down here was a massive decision.

‘But I’ve not moved in the last two seasons until August, so I said to my wife it was something I really wanted to do.

‘I wanted to get in there early, get sorted, get settled and really have a good go it this season.

‘Obviously, loan moves are difficult because you don’t feel wanted – it can end up affecting you.

‘I’ve experienced a lot of ups and downs the past couple of years, so I’m hoping they’ll stand me in good stead for the coming year.’

n Don’t miss a report, reaction and pictures from Pompey’s Fratton Park friendly against Chelsea – in The News on Monday.