D-Day imminent as Portsmouth players braced to learn whether they have Fratton futures

The future of Pompey’s playing squad will this week become clearer.

Monday, 2nd May 2022, 10:21 am

With the League One season concluded, focus now turns to addressing which of the present team are part of Danny Cowley’s plans.

The Blues’ head coach is to hold one-to-one meetings with his players from tomorrow until Thursday at the club’s Hilsea training ground.

It is a standard post-season debrief which also serves as an opportunity to clarify where all parties stand in terms of potentially prolonging Fratton Park stays.

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As a consequence, some will be told they are surplus to requirements as Cowley undertakes another close-season overhaul.

Pompey have 12 players out of contract after next month, of which approximately six possess club options to extend by an additional 12 months.

Talks have already opened with the vast majority of those players Cowley is keen to retain at Fratton Park for next season and beyond.

Sean Raggett is among 12 Pompey players out of contract after next month. Picture: Nigel Keene/ProSportsImages

Cowley is eager to keep the influential central defender, who is sure to attract League One interest this summer.

Crucially in the case of Raggett, the club do not possess a contract clause, thereby aren’t in control of the situation, sparking concerns he may go elsewhere.

Certainly there is more confidence over keeping Michael Jacobs and Louis Thompson, who both have such clauses which favour the club.

With Jacobs, however, the Blues are exploring offering a fresh contract, which involves pay-as-you-play elements, similar to the agreement for Thompson in the summer of 2021.

Sean Raggett receives an award from Gemma Raggett (no relation) from Portsmouth Football Supporters Club London - one of eight awards he collected on the evening. Picture: Robin Jones

Activating Marcus Harness’ option is a no-brainer, although Pompey’s second top-scorer could still depart, with Championship interest still ongoing.

Meanwhile, Aiden O’Brien’s short-term arrangement comes to a close, although there is appetite from all sides to hand the popular attacker a new deal.

Ideally, Cowley wishes to retain 16 members of the current squad, which would aid continuity and avoid a repeat of the chaotic last summer which saw triallists outnumbering contracted players.

Other players whose deals expire after next month are Reeco Hackett, Ollie Webber, Paul Downing, Callum Johnson, Shaun Williams, Jayden Reid and Jay Mingi.

Meanwhile, Pompey’s loan quartet of George Hirst, Mahlon Romeo, Gavin Bazunu, Hayden Carter and Tyler Walker have returned to their parent clubs.

Cowley, however, is keen to bring Carter and Hirst back to Fratton Park next season for a second loan spell.

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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