'Interesting' year ahead for prolific Portsmouth youngster with loan move likely

Mark Kelly has predicted an ‘interesting year’ for Alfie Stanley.

Friday, 21st August 2020, 1:25 pm

The striker enjoyed a prolific season in front of goal for Pompey Academy last term.

Stanley plundered 26 goals in all competitions before the Covid-19 outbreak terminated the young Blues’ campaign.

As a result, he was rewarded with third-year scholarship terms at Fratton Park.

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Following the departures of Oli Hawkins and Brett Pitman, Stanley is currently Pompey’s third-choice striker behind Ellis Harrison and John Marquis.

The Blues are keen to send Stanley out on loan to help his development this season, however.

And Kelly is looking forward to seeing how the 18-year-old progresses.

Pompey’s player development manager said: ‘Alfie is a goalscorer. He's quite small but he's a bit like Conor Chaplin as he gets in and around players and causes people problems.

Pompey striker Alfie Stanley. Picture: Habibur Rahman

‘He's a good footballer but it's that growth area now. A bit of senior football will do him good at some stage.

'The boy scores goals. Goalscorers are goalscorers and he needs to develop that through the senior route.

‘He's smaller than the average striker but he will have to develop that and work with it.

‘There is a lot of potential and a lot of growth there but we've got to get that bit of work for him throughout the season.

‘It'll be an interesting year for Alfie, I think.’

Kelly pinpointed a reason why Stanley made rapid headway last season was because he started relishing the physical side of the game.

Despite only being a diminutive figure, the forward's now putting his body in areas he previously wasn't.

‘He started relishing the physical battle last season and putting himself in positions,’ added Kelly.

‘He probably was edging away from it a bit during his first year in the academy, but the second year he went straight in and was getting into those areas.

‘He's been enjoying the contact. We've always said to him that if you're smaller then you want to get tight, roll defenders and get involved.

‘There's always going to be contact and he's embraced that.’