Young Pompey duo handed new deals

Pompey youngster Dan Smith
Pompey youngster Dan Smith
Jamal Lowe was an unknown to the majority of Pompey fans on his arrival

Why some have blinkers on over Pompey recruitment

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POMPEY have offered new deals to Dan Smith and Matt Casey.

The fledgling academy pair have been identified for bright Fratton Park futures as they maintain their development.

Matt Casey Picture: Colin Farmery

Matt Casey Picture: Colin Farmery

Smith and Casey have both been named on Kenny Jackett’s bench at stages this season.

Forward Smith has been in Pompey’s match-day squad on four occasions and has scored 17 goals for the academy throughout the campaign.

The Warsash talent has also been a regular for the under-23s in both the Premier League Cup and Central League Cup.

Likewise, Casey has been on the first-team bench four times this term. The 6ft 8in centre-back has also featured heavily for the reserves.

Mark Kelly believes the pair have made rapid headway throughout the season, and feels it’s not a surprise they have been offered third-year scholar terms.

The Pompey youth chief said: ‘The pair of them have grown over the season and Kenny has had them in and around the first team, so there’s no surprise there.

‘They are two different lads. Matt is 6ft 8in, a big centre-half but he’s grown a lot this season in himself.

‘He’s put in some consistent levels of performances which have been noted.

‘Dan Smith has had a little change in the area he plays. He’s gone centrally and he has a lot of attributes.

‘He’s a good athlete, has a good first touch, strong in the air and is aggressive.

‘I’m pleased for the two of them. They are at the stage where they have outgrown where we are now.

‘What they need to do is get back in pre-season and get their heads down.’

However, Matt Mayes, Jordan Brooks, Jack Chandler and Jack Collins’ Pompey journeys have come to an end.

Kelly admitted it’s always a tough time of the season – but he has pledged the club will offer the quartet their full support regarding their next moves.

‘Matt Mayes has done a good job for us and he’s going to go and look (for a new team),’ he added.

‘Jordan Brooks has assets, he’s a big strong boy, hopefully he can develop and push forward.

‘Jack Chandler is already out at Alton, while Jack Collins is looking at balancing football and university life.

‘We started about the next move for everyone in January, and a lot of them have got some really good plans in place and are thinking about the next step in their life.’

- WILL ROONEY