'Change hurts, but it can be for the good - not necessarily for the bad': Mark Catlin on Portsmouth Academy overhaul

Pompey fans have been urged not to fear change as the Blues’ Academy undergoes an overhaul.

Thursday, 22nd April 2021, 11:59 am
Mark Catlin believes the overhaul of Pompey's Academy represents positive change. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages/PinP

That’s the message of Mark Catlin, who has overseen the appointment of Greg Miller as head of the youth set-up on Monday.

There will be no development group next year, while elevation to Category 2 standard remains an aspiration yet still lies in the distance.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And he is confident the modifications led by Miller’s appointment will have a favourable impact.

Pompey’s chief executive told The News: ‘In any business or any department within any business, there is a time where things evolve and change. It’s constantly evolving and changing.

‘Danny (Cowley) and Nicky coming in moves the opportunity to look at ourselves as a club – and both of them will have an input in the Academy,

‘In addition, the incoming Academy manager gives everyone a chance to look at new ideas, fresh ideas, and quite often that results in change.

‘Change can be for the good, it’s not necessarily for the bad.

‘If you look at the structures we have put in place (under Tornante) and the staff we have put in place, we have beefed up our recruitment structure, we have paid transfer fees for players under-18s, we have put new roles in and gradually increased the salaries of the people we are bringing in.

‘The Academy isn’t a short-term fix, it’s based over a long period. You don’t achieve instant success, and change hurts. It hurts.

‘But we feel that’s what is needed to continue to drive the Academy forward in the future.’

Read More

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

Meanwhile, Catlin has reiterated that plans to introduce a development group remain on the backburner.

The financial impact of Covid has forced the Blues postpone the project until after next season at the very least.

He added: ‘A development group remains under constant consideration with the arrival of a new Academy manager and then a manager in the close season.

‘It is something we will discuss, but, given the financial effects of Covid and not knowing when fans will return next season, it’s not something we could put into place for next season anyway.

‘In terms of the Academy, the step up from Category 3 to 2 isn’t just about the additional staff and the requirements there, because we meet a lot of those standards.

‘It really is about the requirements of the infrastructure with things such as indoor pitches, there are a lot more facilities.

‘We aspire to be a Category Two club, but, before we do that, we want to make sure we are the best Category 3 club that we can be.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.

You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.