How Portsmouth youngsters - including Haji Mnoga at Gillingham - are doing out on loan as striker sees spell at non-league side ended

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Pompey youngster Dan Gifford returned to Pompey this week following a less than productive loan stint at non-league Weymouth.

New Terras boss Bobby Wilkinson decided against extending the 18-year-old’s stay, with his newly-inherited squad sitting bottom of the National League South table.

With no goals or assists in his 10 games at the Bob Lucas Stadium, Gifford will no doubt be disappointed with the outcome – especially after doing so well at Bognor last season, when he scored 10 goals in 25 appearances for the Rocks.

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He was one of five Blues youngsters sent out to gain much-needed first-team experience during the summer.

But in the same week some of Pompey’s youngsters impressed in the Hampshire Senior Cup win against Southampton, the young striker is now back and hopeful of a move elsewhere to aid his development.

Yet how are those other youngsters coping while out on loan?

Here’s what we discovered.

Haji Mnoga (Gillingham)

Haji Mngoa is struggling for game time at GillinghamHaji Mngoa is struggling for game time at Gillingham
Haji Mngoa is struggling for game time at Gillingham

The defender will be forgiven for thinking he’s suffering from déjà vu during his latest loan spell away from Fratton Park.

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He got sent off 10 minutes into his Gills debut against Swindon at the start of September and has featured just once since for Neil Harris’ side.

That came in the Priestfield outfit’s 2-0 home defeat to Mansfield last month – and even then Mnoga failed to get 90 minutes under his belt as he was substituted at half-time.

Since then the 20-year-old has not made it off the bench for the League Two outfit and hasn’t been involved in any of their Papa John’s Trophy games.

And it will seem all too familiar for the Blues defender, with a nightmare spell at Bromley over the first half of last season triggered by his sending off against Rotherham in the FA Cup.

After that, Mnoga soon found himself back at Fratton Park.

Toby Steward (Bognor)

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The highly-rated 17-year-old was sent out to Isthmian League premier division Bognor with the aim of getting 35 appearances under his belt this season.

And with 11 games already accumulated, the keeper is well on his way to achieving that goal.

There was some concern recently when Myles Bowman was given the nod to start for the Rocks for three consecutive games.

But with Steward set to remain at Nyewood Lane for the remainder of the season, he’s since re-established himself as Bognor’s No1.

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Speaking to The News last week about Steward, Danny Cowley said: ‘Toby has done very, very well at Bognor – and since he has been there a Premier League and two Championship clubs have enquired about him again.

‘They wanted to take him permanently, but it is not our ambition to sell Toby.’

Harry Jewitt-White (Gosport Borough)

The midfielder’s time at Gosport Borough looks a strange one on paper.

Last month Boro boss Shaun Gale said he wished to extend the 18-year-old’s stay with the Southern League Premier South side.

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Yet he’s barely featured for Pompey’s non-league neighbours because of suspension, games being called off, injury and international call-ups for Wales’ under-19s.

Indeed, Jewitt-White hasn’t featured for Borough since being sent off against Winchester on August 29.

Alfie Bridgman (Bognor)

Like Blues team-mate Steward, Bridgman appears to be impressing at Nyewood Lane.

He’s featured 10 times for Robbie Blake’s side, scoring twice – and has taken his impressive form onto the international stage as well.

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Indeed, representing Malta under-19s, he scored twice during the recent international breaking against Scotland and Croatia respectively.

Due to the 18-year-old’s international commitments, Blake brought in reinforcements in the form of Worthing winger Luke Robinson.

That’s provided Bridgman with extra competition, with the Pompey youngster on the bench for the Rocks’ 1-1 draw with Enfield on Tuesday night.