Croatian keeper impresses on long-awaited Portsmouth debut – now he must strive for consistency

Petar Durin. Picture: Joe Pepler
Petar Durin. Picture: Joe Pepler
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HE HAD to wait more than six months for his Pompey Academy debut. 

And Petar Durin delivered an impressive performance on his Blues bow.

The keeper moved to Fratton Park from Italian side Atalanta for an undisclosed fee in July. 

But the Croatia under-18 international had to remain patient before Fifa gave him the green light to play. His own pre-season programme then followed. 

Durin finally donned the star & crescent for Mark Kelly’s academy side in their 1-0 win over Plymouth last weekend.

He caught the eye with a penalty save and a number of decent stops.

After a frustrating period, Kelly is delighted the 17-year-old is now fully into the swing of things.

Pompey’s youth chief said: ‘It’s been a little bit of a frustrating time for Petar.

‘It was nice to get him out on the pitch and see him doing his thing. It was a good start from him.

‘But like everything in life, consistency is key and if he can perform like that time and time again then it’s what we’re looking for.

‘He’s trying to set his standards and his own little targets and he’s got to push to try to achieve them.

‘He’s a big lad and smothers the ball. When he comes out, he stands up to make himself strong and full.’

Leon Pitman is the young Blues’ other keeper and Kelly reckons the competition will bring the best out of the pair.

He added: ‘Petar’s now vying for that spot because Leon  has done well in there.

‘It’s not easy as a first-year scholar to take that responsibility but Leon has done that.

‘There’s a lot of healthy competition throughout the club and that’s what we’re looking for.’