Mark Kelly believes Matt Casey can continue his promising progress now he’s coming to the end of his growth spurt.
The centre-back is the tallest player on the books at Pompey – towering in at 6ft 8.5inches.
Casey made three appearances for Kenny Jackett’s side on the way to Checkatrade Trophy glory last season, as well as spending most of the campaign on loan at Gosport Borough.
The 19-year-old has been rewarded with a new deal at the Blues and is primed to extend his stay.
Kelly helped nurture Casey through the academy and has played a key role in his development.
Pompey’s youth chief revealed they had to remain patient at times with the defender while he was filling his frame – although he was still impressed with his consistent performances.
Kelly said: ‘When you’re 6ft 8.5inches, you’ve got to grow around your body a little bit.
‘Sometimes you can go through a growth spurt and look a little bit out of co-ordination, but Matt‘s starting to come out of the back end of that corridor now.
‘His levels of consistency are great and we all know he can play football – he has got some really good feet.
‘Although he’s a big lad, he can play. He’s got a soft touch and can use the ball really well.
‘It’s great for him he can continue and it’ll be nice for him to grow around his body now.’
Jackett has previously stated he’s been more impressed with Casey the higher standard he plays.
Kelly feels that’s because the Botley youngster is coming up against players of a similar physique.
‘It must’ve been quiet weird being that tall playing in the youth team,’ the academy boss added.
‘You’re that much bigger than everyone else whereas when he goes up the ladder, he’s probably playing against people he’s more comfortable with.
‘In a strange way, he probably feels more at home playing against blokes.’