A big six months for Adam May approaching - his Portsmouth future depends on it
It was a fourth loan move of his career – but undoubtedly the most important.
After spending time with non-league Gosport Borough, Sutton and Aldershot, Adam May finally had the opportunity he coveted.
A temporary move to Swindon was a chance for the midfielder to finally get regular Football League action – something that had evaded him at Pompey.
There were fits and starts, especially after Kenny Jackett succeeded Paul Cook as manager ahead of the 2017-18 season.
A sustained run in the starting line-up was scarcely granted to him, however.
So a switch to the Robins made complete sense last summer. He'd be joining a side that harboured aspirations of League Two promotion and playing in a division just one below the Blues.
The perfect place to prove his capabilities within the league structure.
When he departed to the County Ground, May had hoped of a January return to Fratton Park – but as a reward for his standout performances.
The diminutive figure himself had seen his career stall at Millwall, before moving to Pompey for appearances week in, week out last term.
Not only did he achieve that but he became the linchpin of Kenny Jackett’s side and was recalled by the Lions at the first opportunuty, subsequently helping the south London outfit to survival in the Championship.
Pompey never recovered from his departure and ultimately missed out on promotion.
As things stand, it looks like May will get the switch back to PO4 next month he had hope for – but, unfortunately, for the wrong reasons.
May’s endured a difficult time at Swindon, reduced to a bit-part role as they set the pace at the summit of the fourth tier.
He’s made 12 appearances in total, with four from the outset, and has been included in just one of the Robins’ past 11 match-day squads.
Richie Wellens has struggled to accommodate him in his set-ups because five other loan signings have been in such impressive form.
The Swindon boss is to open discussions with the Fratton Park hierarchy fairly soon.
For Pompey, there seems little reason to keep May in Wiltshire. For May, there seems little reason to remain in Wiltshire.
Kenny Jackett’s already revealed he'll get the 22-year-old back out on loan if he is recalled to PO4.
It’s unlikely he’s going to wrestle Tom Naylor, Ben Close, Ross McCrorie or even Andy Cannon for that matter out of the way.
What’s more is that, by his own admission, May knows he’s playing for his Fratton future.
He’s out of contract this summer and the decision on whether he’ll be retained or released depends on whether Jackett believes the Blues academy product can force his way into his first-team plans – whether that be in League One next season or the Championship.
There’s definitely a player there. He was held in the highest regard during his academy days.
But wherever May ends up after January, he simply has to grasp his latest opportunity. He has a big six months approaching.