Former Fulham, Bradford, Brighton, Norwich and QPR defender handed key Portsmouth Academy role

Pompey have appointed Liam Daish’s replacement in their Academy set-up.

Former Fulham and QPR defender Zesh Rehman has become lead professional development phase coach, overseeing the under-18s.

Now Academy head Greg Miller has turned to Rehman to take over.

The 38-year-old’s playing career involved appearing for Fulham in the Premier League as well as representing Norwich, QPR, Brighton, Bradford, Gillingham and Blackpool.

He also featured in leagues in Malaysia, Hong Kong and Thailand.

Rehman possesses the distinction of becoming the first British Asian to start a Premier League game, while the Birmingham-born centre-half represented Pakistan 25 times.

In recent years he has served as player-manager at Hong Kong Premier League club Southern.

Pompey have appointed Zesh Rehman as lead professional development phase coach to replace Liam Daish. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

Rehmen announced his arrival on Twitter on Monday evening, earning a warm welcome from Pompey fans.

In addition, former players Robbie Fowler, Richard Shaw and Jason Pearce were among those to congratulate him on social media following the news.

Pompey’s Academy is undergoing change under Miller at present as he bids to restore a production line which was previously prolific.

Following the departure of Sean O’Driscoll, James Barlow was promoted to the role of head of coaching in February.

The much-respected Jon Slater retired as the Blues’ long-serving head of education and welfare at the season’s end.

However, he will remain on hand to help out on occasions, which is appreciated by the club.

In terms of emerging Academy playing talent, last season saw promising pair Toby Steward and Harry Jewitt-White handed first-year professional terms.

While Alfie Bridgman and Dan Gifford became third-year scholars as they continue to impress during development.

It’s a welcome sight, with the Academy of late suffering a lull, culminating with all second year and third-year youngsters controversially leaving Fratton Park in the summer of 2021.

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