DETAILED: 12 matches watched in a weekend and Portsmouth's kitman assigned scouting missions - Danny Cowley's exhaustive player hunt revealed

Pompey management and backroom staff scouted 12 matches between them last weekend – with even kitman Shaun North hitting the road to take in a game.

Wednesday, 12th January 2022, 6:00 pm

Danny Cowley has lifted the lid on the Blues’ exhaustive player search as they seek to strengthen during the January transfer window.

Without a game last Saturday, Pompey’s head coach was present for Wycombe’s encounter with Sunderland.

Meanwhile, assistant boss Nicky Cowley attended three matches on Saturday alone – at Coventry, Kidderminster and Birmingham.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

Similarly, coaches Simon Bassey and Lorenzo Dolcetti, and recruitment department Phil Boardman and Roberto Gagliardi were out in force.

It offers an intriguing insight into the rigorous nature of a Pompey player hunt which, so far, has yet to land anyone.

Cowley told The News: ‘The whole staff were out at the weekend, we covered 12 games, so lots of football.

‘The best way to analyse any potential future recruits is through watching live because you learn so much from the live performance.

Danny Cowley and staff took in 12 matches last weekend as Pompey leave no stone unturned for January recruits. Picture: Simon Davies/ProSportsImages

‘You can watch players on clips, you take all the statistics in, but seeing players live, looking at their behaviour, watching how they prepare and the warm-up, watching how they interact with their team-mates, looking at body language.

‘These are all things you can only really pick up when watching a game in person.

‘Me, Nicky, Lorenzo (Dolcetti), Simon Bassey, Roberto Gagliardi and Phil Boardman were all at matches last weekend.

‘Even Shaun North, our kitman, went to watch Haji on Saturday at Weymouth for us. He’s had a lifetime in football and is a pro licence coach.

‘It’s fantastic that we have so many people within the club who are willing to go above and beyond. Their role and responsibility is to get out and watch games on our behalf.

Read More

Read More
For the latest Pompey news direct to your inbox sign up for our free newsletter

‘We know how important recruitment is to the outcome, it is 80 per cent of the role – and we have to work incredibly hard to minimise the risk.’

The findings from Pompey scouting missions are entered on a database employed by the Cowleys.

And, subsequently, their recruitment plans will be influenced by such information.

Cowley added: ‘The last time I looked, the database had nearly 9,000 players on it, all with information about their playing styles, how they have played in actual games.

‘We use a marking system which allows us to then put them onto a database and, from there, they either become a player we will monitor or a player that will become a target to us.

‘Or they’ll be a player who, for the time being, we leave on the database.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

You can support our local team of expert Pompey writers by subscribing here for all the latest news from Fratton Park for 9p a day, thanks to our 30%-off transfer window deal.