Walkes: My versatility can aid Pompey ambition

Anton Walkes is ready for Pompey duty. Picture: Colin Farmery
Anton Walkes is ready for Pompey duty. Picture: Colin Farmery
Joe Dandy. Picture Ian Hargreave

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ANTON WALKES has declared himself willing and able to fulfil any Pompey role commanded of him.

Primarily a right-back, the 20-year-old has arrived on loan from Spurs for the remainder of the campaign.

There isn’t a preference where I play, just playing, playing is a preference, that’s what I enjoy

Anton Walkes

Kenny Jackett has swiftly earmarked him to serve in the centre of midfield, a position desperately in need of strengthening.

It’s a remit Walkes insists he is capable of performing in, having proven a flexible player during his fledgling career.

He operated as a right-back and central defender during a successful 20-game stay with Atlanta United in the MLS.

Yet Jackett sees him featuring in an area in which Pompey’s side remain worryingly short-staffed.

Walkes said: ‘First of all, I am young, I’m willing to give everything to the team and it is about making sure I am always ready whenever I get the opportunity.

‘I am versatile and can play in a number of positions. Regardless where I will play, I’ll make sure I can do my job.

‘There isn’t a preference where I play, just playing, playing is a preference, that’s what I enjoy.

‘Regardless of where it is I like to do my job for the team.

‘I’ve played two games for Spurs under-23s since returning from America and have trained quite a bit. I am making sure whatever happens I am ready to go.

‘You have to play more first-team football at this stage – and after my experience in America it is only right I get some more exposure so I can keep improving.’

Walkes spent a season on loan with Atlanta before returning to White Hart Lane in December.

Since then, Jackett watched him turn out for Spurs’ under-23s in a recent clash with their Everton counterparts.

The Lewisham-born youngster’s availability prompted the Blues to move quickly, lodging their interest at the end of last week.

Walkes then ventured to Pompey’s training ground to yesterday meet his new team-mates.

Contracted with the Premier League club until the summer of 2019, he’s now aiming to impress at Fratton Park.

He added: ‘I am not really focussed much on the future, I am just focussed on the present.

‘I am here to play games and my focus is ultimately taking it by game-by-game. I am not looking for the end of the season.

‘Who knows what this season could bring. I just want to pick up as much experience as I can.’

– NEIL ALLEN