The gifted deputy Portsmouth can always count on when required

He was the architect of the goal which ensured Pompey avoided a slip-up at non-league opposition.

Monday, 15th July 2019, 8:00 pm
Updated Monday, 15th July 2019, 8:43 pm

Following a marauding overlap down the wing, Brandon Haunstrup’s cutback teed-up Brett Pitman, who slotted home to deliver a 2-1 victory at the Hawks on Saturday.

With skipper Pitman to his left and vice-captain Gareth Evans the opposite side, the Pompey academy graduate’s good work didn’t go unappreciated by the two senior members in the dressing room.

It was recognition for another eye-catching display off the bench – after also proving a potent threat in the 11-0 routing of UCD – and engineering the move which continued Kenny Jackett’s side’s 100-per-cent start to pre-season.

Sign up to our Portsmouth FC newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Brandon Haunstrip, centre, is congratulated by Gareth Evans, left, and goalscorer Brett Pitman after assisting Pompey's winner against the Hawks. Picture: Dave Haines

What’s more, Haunstrup again underlined there’s an adept deputy left-back at Fratton Park who’ll never let anyone down when required.

The support-act role is something the Waterlooville ace will want to shrug off sooner rather than later.

With Lee Brown firmly first choice, though, Haunstrup looks set to remain in that position this campaign as it stands.

The ex-Bristol Rovers man made 51 appearances last season, confining the home-grown talent to just 12 outings – and only five in League One.

Nevertheless, while on the face of things it appears Brown’s well ahead in the pecking order, he doesn’t regard it that way.

The other is Blackpool's Marc Bola, who’s been linked with Championship new-boys Luton.

Certainly that highlights how highly Haunstrup is rated by his team-mates.

Pompey fans have also seen what he’s capable of. During 2017-18, he amassed 20 appearances and made promising progress.

Approaching his 23rd birthday in October, the defender will be hoping the prospect of regular first-team football arrives sooner rather than later.

In the past year, he’s seen fellow youth products Ben Close become an established player, Adam May head to Swindon to feature week-in, week-out and Conor Chaplin leave for Coventry after no longer wanting to be a bit-part player.

With a year left on his contract and a quality option for Jackett behind Brown, there’s little chance Haunstrup will depart this summer.

And when called upon, he’ll undoubtedly display his prowess like at Westleigh Park.