He's back - four-and-a-half years after Portsmouth sold highly-regarded Academy graduate to Dutch club

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The former Mayfield School pupil featured five times for the Blues’ first-team

As a talented home-grown winger, his sale brought criticism from some of the Fratton faithful.

Now, four-and-a-half years later, Leon Maloney has returned to the area after joining Shaun North’s Hawks revolution.

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Maloney was a promising left winger with pace to burn when he burst onto the Pompey scene in 2019 as a 17-year-old.

Leon Maloney made five appearances for Pompey before sold to FC Volendam in January 2020. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImagesLeon Maloney made five appearances for Pompey before sold to FC Volendam in January 2020. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages
Leon Maloney made five appearances for Pompey before sold to FC Volendam in January 2020. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages | Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

The Academy product totalled five appearances and also scored for Kenny Jackett’s side in a December 2019 victory over Northampton in the Leasing.com Trophy.

A crowd of 2,413 were present when he levelled with a stooping header from Marcus Harness’ right-wing cross, which deflected into the net off Scott Wharton.

The following month in January 2020, the former Mayfield School pupil was surprisingly sold to Dutch side FC Volendam for an undisclosed fee at the age of 18.

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However, despite seven first-team appearances, injuries wrecked Maloney’s time in Holland, in particular stress fractures of both ankles, prompting his return to England last summer.

Having been part of the AFC Totton side which finished second in Southern League Premier South, before losing to penalties in the play-off final to Salisbury, Maloney has now arrived at Westleigh Park.

The 23-year-old reunites with his former Pompey youth-team coach North, whose dad Roger discovered the attacker on the Isle of Wight - and Maloney is relishing the opportunity.

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‘When I was 18 I had the opportunity to move to Holland for three years and loved every minute of it, loved it.

‘It was just the time to come back I thought was right, so I signed for Totton and it was a good season for me personally, although obviously missing out on promotion was a disappointment.

‘I have known Shaun North for years, so when he approached me with the opportunity to come here, it didn’t take much convincing. I loved working with him when I was younger and coach-wise there are not many better out there. I can’t wait to get started.

‘I am buzzing to be here, really excited. I have grown up in Pompey, so I know Havant is a massive club around the area. I’m buzzing to get started and the goal is to get promoted.’

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Maloney is one of four brothers from the Isle of Wight Maloney family to represent Pompey at various age groups.

Older brother Jack made 11 first-team appearances, including nine League One appearances in 2012-13 under Guy Whittingham.

Leon was handed his Blues bow in January 2019 at Southend in the Checkatrade Trophy and in 2019-20 started four times in the competition, scoring once, before being sold to Voldendam.

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