Whittingham targeting new Pompey goalkeeping coach

Pompey were crowned league champions on this day in 1949. Picture: Pompey History Society

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Pompey will this week attempt to employ a new goalkeeping coach.

But the vacancy created by head of recruitment Luke Dowling’s exit is not expected to be filled.

Dowling and John Keeley last week quit the Blues to join Michael Appleton at Blackburn.

Both had turned down offers from other clubs since the summer in favour of remaining at Fratton Park, yet in the end the lure of Rovers was too much.

Their decisions came in a week when administrators PKF announced 10 per cent wage cut across the board – the latest pay reductions.

Now the hunt is on for a new goalkeeping coach, although Dowling’s role will not be replaced at present.

Caretaker boss Guy Whittingham said: ‘The goalkeeping coach is a specialised position.

‘It’s something we have already thought about and probably early this week we will make sure we have got that sorted.

‘Obviously people will mention Alan Knight.

‘We have talked about him and I don’t want to say any more than that.

‘Don’t take that as he is coming in, though.

‘With Luke, he won’t be replaced in the short-term.

‘We can’t do that at the moment because there are a lot of other things going on.

‘We are hoping by the season’s end that will be sorted out but in the meantime we are going to lose Luke and will not be replacing him.

‘Lots of us have contacts – people phone me up and offer to help out and we will pull them together to make sure we have some young and experienced players come in.

‘Besides, we are not going to lose him as far as that is concerned. He is always going to be there for us.

‘If we have heard about a player we haven’t got to see he is on the end of a phone.’

Keeley stepped up from the Pompey Academy to take over from Dave Coles in the summer of 2010.

Dowling arrived this summer after Appleton recruited him from Crystal Palace.

And Whittingham has no bitterness over their sudden exits.

He added: ‘They were probably offers neither of them could refuse.

‘With Luke, first and foremost he is a good guy and had been doing lots of things to try to help us in the situation we are in.

‘He has worked very hard at that and travelled the breadth and width of the country to look at players.

‘He made plenty of phone calls to ask about players and watched a lot of games.

‘He is a hard worker so anybody like that you are going to miss.

‘John has been through a lot and felt it was the right thing to do and I can only thank him for all the effort he has put in.

‘He’s bright and bubbly around the place and that’s what makes him a good football coach – not just a goalkeeping coach.

‘He is very good at his job and it’s no surprise he has gone somewhere else.

‘There are still people here trying to turn it around.’