The non-league grounding which gives Norwich loanee Sean Raggett the hunger to succeed at Portsmouth
He’s the latest player to arrive at Pompey having had a non-league grounding.
And Sean Raggett insists his time spent outside the professional ranks drives his hunger for success.
Yet the early days of Raggett’s career arrived firstly with Dover Athletic, before joining Lincoln City.
Promotion from the National League with the Imps in 2016 gave the defender his first opportunity in the Football League.
A switch to the Canaries and subsequent loan spells at Lincoln and Rotherham has ensured Raggett’s not dropped back down into the non-league scene.
The 25-year-old’s career has followed a similar trajectory as new Blues team-mates such as Jamal Lowe, Craig MacGillivray and Oli Hawkins.
After being honed in non-league, the trio were key members of Kenny Jackett’s side that suffered League One play-off semi-final defeat last term.
And Raggett’s experiences outside the pro game will give him the drive to succeed with Pompey.
He said: ‘I use my non-league background as motivation.
‘Coming from non-league, you work so hard to get up to these sort of levels in the Football League.
‘You have that hunger to stay there and progress.
‘You don’t want to drop back down to non-league because you know how difficult it is to get out.
‘Without being disrespectful to non-league – because I do love it – but everything from the facilities, the grounds you play at and the opponents you come up against is a massive step up.
‘This is where you want to play and it gives you a real hunger to do well at these levels.’
Raggett was a surprise face when he reported for the first day of pre-season training on Thursday before his signing was announced.
But there were a few familiar players who made the Gillingham-born ace welcome.
He added: ‘I’ve got the same agent as Louis Dennis, although I hadn’t met him before.
‘I already knew Oli Hawkins. I did an England C training camp with him back in our non-league days and I played with James Bolton there as well.
‘It was good to have a few familiar faces around.’