On This Day: New boss Paul Cook scraps Portsmouth reserves

On this day in 2015, new manager Paul Cook scrapped Pompey’s reserves.

Monday, 17th June 2019, 10:41 am
Updated Monday, 17th June 2019, 10:59 am
Newly-appointed Pompey boss Paul Cook decided to scrap the club's reserve side. Picture: Sarah Standing (150875-8558)

The Blues had finished the previous campaign second in the south division of the Final Third Development League.

But the manager, who had been appointed with a remit of earning promotion from League Two, took the decision to ease the workload on youngsters.

Instead the focus was on playing behind-closed-doors friendlies.

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At the time, assistant manager Leam Richardson said in The News: ‘When we came in we thoroughly went through quite a few things.

‘We quickly realised a lot of the young lads had played 50/60 games last year through the reserves,

the youth cup and their youth football.

‘The demands can become too much on young lads, especially when they are trying to develop, so we

felt we could strip it back a little bit.

‘The manager likes young lads to practice a lot, to have the mundane kind of basic practice to become

better as an individual.

‘If they are playing that many games they are not going to be able to get quality practice in and quality


‘Of course we will still play, we won’t miss out on games. There are enough quality teams around our

area to ensure you can get minutes into legs and these will be behind closed doors.’

To date, Pompey still don’t possess either a reserve side or development group.

However, friendlies continue to be organised to offer fringe players match action, while there is also the Premier League Cup.

In addition, the Checkatrade Trophy offers opportunities, with Pompey granting a number of first-team debuts while claiming it last season.