Academy chief Greg Miller: It would have been unfair involving me in Portsmouth youth clear-out

Greg Miller insists it would have been ‘unfair’ involving him in discussions on the futures of Pompey’s 10 released youngsters.

Saturday, 5th June 2021, 4:30 pm
Charlie Ball is among 10 youngsters released by Pompey, yet incoming Academy head Greg Miller was not involved in the decision. Picture: Robin Jones/Getty Images

The newly-appointed head of Academy has backed the Blues’ decision not to seek his opinion.

The week before Miller’s April arrival, Pompey’s second-year scholars and first-year professionals were informed of their Fratton Park futures.

The outcome has seen the departures of Harry Anderson, Charlie Bell, Tom Bruce, Harry Kavanagh, Leon Pitman, Harvey Rew, Gerard Storey and Eoin Teggart.

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While Harrison Brook and Seok Jae Lee have subsequently both turned down extensions.

It signifies a mass clear-out of Pompey’s youth talent, yet Miller is comfortable with not having been consulted.

He told The News: ‘It is absolutely not fair for me to make those decisions (on young players).

‘Just like I have not walked in here and made an assessment of any staff member ahead of seeing that staff member perform, seeing them in their own environment, how they work, how they engage with players.

‘It wouldn’t have been relevant at all to have had any input in that (on players). I believe all the decisions were conveyed to the players the week before I commenced here.

‘I would just stress that it wouldn’t be fair because I have not witnessed that player play football, I have not witnessed them in a training environment, I have no understanding of what behaviour they have demonstrated.

‘Ultimately, there are enough staff who have been involved in that decision-making exercise who have the expertise, knowledge and wider experience of seeing that player prior to my arrival.

‘They are far better equipped in that regard to have inputted into that decision.

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‘In future decisions, of course I’ll be involved. I will be close to the Academy, I work with the coaches, work with the first-team management, and will also have some knowledge and understanding of the players themselves having witnessed them in training and the games programme.

‘I will be placed to give input into the end decision that we reach next season with those players.’

The likes of Rew, Bell, Lee and Brook have since attended trials at fellow Football League clubs, some involving the Premier League.

And Miller is satisfied with the level of support the club has provided to all youngsters since being informed of their release.

He added: ‘Mark Kelly, who worked at the football club, supported a number of those players, organising trials at other prospective clubs.

‘We liaised with the players’ agents, many of whom were also organising their own trials for the players.

‘Equally, we’ve put together a highlights reel video and some overview report cards of the players’ physical and educational performance, like a mini CV, to try to support those players and their future in exiting the club.

‘We have a duty of care with these individuals. We have given them enough information and enough support at this stage as we possibly can.’

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