From being set for Portsmouth release to scoring on first-team debut - Waterlooville's Josh Flint's remarkable story
Josh Flint had been lined up for a Pompey release upon last summer’s Academy graduation.
Now the Waterlooville youngster possesses a first-team goal following a remarkable turnaround in footballing fortunes.
The former Fratton Park season-ticket holder broke his right arm in January, an untimely setback which left him fearing his presence on Pompey’s books was over.
Yet the club, sympathetic to Flint’s injury, opted to grant him an extension until September, an arrangement usually employed to help Academy youngsters whose progress has been hampered.
During that period, the former Queens Inclosure Primary School pupil, who lives in Crystal Way, enjoyed a growth spurt. Perceived as small for his age, he was catapulted to 6ft.
Then, against Norwich under-21s in the Leasing.com Trophy, he was handed a debut, responding with a goal and assist in the 3-1 success.
Now Flint’s stay has been extended until January.
Kenny Jackett said: ‘Josh is a very good footballer, probably technically the Academy’s best player.
‘He was going to be released in the summer. The traditional way is to tell people at the end of their second year and that’s it, a yes or a no.
‘Myself and Mark Kelly have talked about it a lot, sometimes it is worth kicking the can down the road a little bit and waiting – that’s what we felt with Josh.
‘He had broken his arm at a crucial time and he didn’t get that time, so we decided to give him longer.
‘We extended his scholarship into a third year, which is an option available for a few players, and felt by doing that we could actually give those players chances and opportunities this year.
‘We wanted a few third-year scholars around, that is very important for us, and with games like Saturday we knew there would be opportunities.
‘Josh has some way to go, you can see that, but in his work so far this season he is technically very good.
‘He is tall and rangy and, at some stage, will fill out, but being a left footer it does give you more of a chance.’
Flint, who also attended Crookhorn School, made 28 appearances for the Academy last season, scoring four times.