Why Ben Tollitt can be a Pompey success

Ben Tollitt  Picture: Joe Pepler
Ben Tollitt Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Tollitt scored nine goals in 15 matches last season, consisting of 11 substitute appearances
  • 20-year-old has signed for Pompey on a one-year deal with an option
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The ‘defenders’ nightmare’ can be a success at Fratton Park.

That is the verdict of Skelmersdale United boss Tommy Lawson after Ben Tollitt completed his Pompey switch.

He will want to take people on, he will want to challenge them, he will want to outpace them, the lad has so much natural ability

Tommy Lawson

The 20-year-old attacking midfielder yesterday signed a one-year deal with an option following a successful trial.

Paul Cook had spotted the ex-Everton trainee performing for the Evo-Stik League Northern Premier side last season.

Now he has become the Blues’ 10th signing of the season, although remains one very much for the future.

Regardless, his former manager is convinced the youngster can impress.

Lawson said: ‘Paul (Cook) came to watch Skem last season so has been aware of Ben for a while.

‘He is an experienced manager and knows what he has got there, which is a lad with a great deal of potential.

‘Ben is a throwback to a winger who gets the ball and runs at people, he is a defender’s nightmare.

‘He will want to take people on, he will want to challenge them, he will want to outpace them, the lad has so much natural ability.

‘He is very quick over a short space, bordering on the rapid, once he gets that first yard he can cut across people.

‘Ben is just so entertaining to watch, there are little parts of his game I am sure Paul will help him with but, generally speaking, your spectators are going to love this kid.

‘You can play him on the right side, the left side or in behind the forward, he has an eye for a goal, a wonderful delivery with either foot and can also shoot with power and precision.

‘You have got a really, really talented lad there.’

Skelmersdale snapped up Tollitt in November 2014 after he played for Widnes against them in the Liverpool Senior Cup.

The youngster, who was not contracted, went on to make 15 appearances, of which four were starts, netting nine times.

Unsurprisingly, Lawson was keen to retain him, but in the face of interest from Tranmere, Pompey swooped.

Lawson added: ‘Paul Cook has done this before, he comes to Skelmersdale United every year to see what we’ve got!

‘When at Sligo he took John Cass for trials, when he was manager of Accrington he took Shaun Tuck for trials.

‘When he was at Chesterfield he tried very hard to get Matty Hughes, who went to Fleetwood in the end. Now he has got Ben!

‘We signed him as an untried 19-year-old from three divisions below.

‘We saw the potential in him and were nurturing him, trying to bring him through in the right fashion and the right manner to aid his development.

‘We put him on as we saw fit and he did have an impact almost every time he played.

‘It is our loss but we’ve always been one of those clubs which try to help and we are delighted for Ben.’