Blistering Jamal Lowe at the forefront of Portsmouth's training return

A new season, established faces and some fresh ones as well.

Thursday, 27th June 2019, 2:39 pm
Updated Thursday, 27th June 2019, 6:20 pm
Pompey's players take a breather after returning to training this morning. Picture: Habibur Rahman

And reassuringly the familiar sight of Jamal Lowe leading the fitness stakes on the opening day of training.

The talented winger was unrecognisable at the end of last term, exhausted following a gruelling campaign in which he had starred.

With 17 goals, he had even been condemned to a substitute appearance in the play-off semi-final second leg against Sunderland.

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Pompey's players take a breather after returning to training this morning. Picture: Habibur Rahman

Yet upon Pompey’s return to action, it was the Lowe of old, driving through the fitness drills on the back pitch at their Roko training home under the glorious south-coast sunshine.

Split into three groups for shuttle runs, the 24-year-old motored impressively ahead of those colleagues occupying the third group, among them Brett Pitman.

Still, he is presently a Pompey player and as committed as ever, as demonstrated during a morning consisting of 45 minutes on the pitches before the team’s session ended in the gym.

No balls were present during the maiden get together of the summer for a squad containing four of Kenny Jackett’s five signings.

James Bolton, Sean Raggett, Ellis Harrison and Paul Downing were all present among those on duty in hot conditions.

Of last term’s squad, Ronan Curtis had been given additional time off, having spent time on Republic of Ireland duty during his close season.

He will return to Pompey on July 7, meeting up with the squad during their Dublin stay.

Another absence was Christian Burgess, missing through illness, while Bryn Morris was unable to be involved through a groin issue.

Watching his Pompey team-mates from the touchline was Jack Whatmough, kitted out and ready to continue his own fitness programme, with an eye on returning in the new year.

Shortly after noon, following lunch at the training ground, the players began to drift off, their opening day over.

The season is officially here – preparation for the latest promotion bid has begun.