Varney relishing breaking Fratton duck

Luke Varney scores Pompey's fourth against the Hawks
Luke Varney scores Pompey's fourth against the Hawks
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Liam Lawrence helping out in the ticket office at Fratton Park

On this day: Pompey skipper hits out at punishment for players and fans

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It was a case of debut delight against the Hawks.

Now Luke Varney is preparing himself for a trip into the unknown. Namely, Fratton Park.

In 257 career matches, the 28-year-old has never before appeared at Pompey’s home.

The striker has turned out at some of the greatest grounds in the country.

But never set foot on the sacred turf or faced the Fratton roar.

That will all change on Saturday, when Pompey entertain Premier League Chelsea.

Varney can expect to retain his place for the friendly, which looks set to attract a large crowd.

Real Betis are also booked in for a Fratton appearance once Steve Cotterill’s side return from America.

Firstly come Chelsea – an occasion which serves up Varney’s Fratton bow.

And the former Crewe man is relishing breaking his duck.

He said: ‘It’s a big game for us. It’s one we’re looking forward to before we go to the States.

‘It’s one we’ve earmarked to get a good performance in front of a home crowd. And it’s something I’m getting excited about – playing at Fratton.

‘I’ve never been there before, it’s not a ground I have ever played on.

‘So hopefully we can play some good football like we did at Havant and might shock a few people.’

Barely 12 hours after the Chelsea match, Pompey’s players head off to America.

They’ll be spending 12 days in North and South Carolina, taking in two matches.

And that tour also excites new-boy Varney.

He added: ‘It will be great going to America.

‘I’m looking forward to working hard out there and getting some hot air in the lungs

‘We’ve got a strong squad and a good experienced squad, so we’re going to put the work in and make sure we’re in tip-top shape for the season.’