It's four: Ex-Portsmouth reunion continues after released Fratton Park starlet makes transfer

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The Hawks have swooped for a fourth ex-Pompey player as their rebuild continues at pace.

Leon Maloney, Harvey Bradbury and Nigel Atangana have all been snapped up by new head coach Shaun North to revitalise the Westleigh Park club following relegation.

Now they have been joined by Harvey Laidlaw, following his Fratton Park release this summer.

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The attacking left-back made one appearance for his boyhood club, where late grandfather Joe registered promotion in May 1980.

Former Pompey Academy product Harvey Laidlaw has moved to the Hawks. Pic: Jason Brown.Former Pompey Academy product Harvey Laidlaw has moved to the Hawks. Pic: Jason Brown.
Former Pompey Academy product Harvey Laidlaw has moved to the Hawks. Pic: Jason Brown.

However, the former Miltoncross Academy pupil was among the Pompey departures at the end of last season, following loan spells at Gosport and Horndean in 2023-24.

Still, Laidlaw has managed to remain local, being part of the Hawks’ overhaul as they strive for promotion from Southern League Premier South following relegation.

North, Pompey’s ex-kit man and a Uefa Pro Licence holder, is overseeing their challenge following his appointment in May and is using his long association with the Blues to bring in new faces.

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Maloney and Bradbury both came through the Fratton Park ranks, while Atangana spent 18 months there before being sold by Paul Cook to Leyton Orient in January 2017.

Now Laidlaw has followed them to Westleigh Park, having been crowned Pompey’s Academy Player Of The Season in 2022-23.

In October 2022, he appeared as an 82nd-minute substitute in Danny Cowley’s side’s 5-0 victory over Aston Villa’s Under-21s in the Papa John’s Trophy.

At the time of his debut, he was just 16 years, eight months and 12 days, but there would be no further outings for the diminutive full-back.

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Instead the Southsea youngster spent the majority of last season out on loan for development, albeit struggling for matches at Gosport before switching to Horndean.

With Connor Ogilvie and Jack Sparkes ahead of him for Pompey’s left-back spot, he was among the 10 players released in May, along with Sean Raggett and Joe Rafferty.

Now the ambitious Hawks have snapped him up, with a potential reunion against Pompey in their scheduled July 19 friendly.

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