Portsmouth hand six youngsters Fratton Park apprenticeships
Six young players have signed apprenticeships at Pompey.
Harry Anderson, Charlie Bell, Harrison Brook, Seokjae Lee, Harvey Rew and Gerard Storey have all penned two-year deals with the Blues academy.
Three of the players hail from Portsmouth – Bell, Brook and Rew – Anderson and Storey arrive from Northern Ireland, with Lee born in South Korea.
Academy manager Mark Kelly said: ‘It’s always an exciting day for the new scholars and their first step into the football club as full-time players.
‘We’ve had some of the boys with us since they were very young and it’s going to be a long journey for them.
‘They’ve done excellently to get to this point and now the real hard work begins as they try to become professional footballers.
‘I’m really pleased with the staff we’ve got here and they can provide a real support mechanism for the boys.
‘It’s a journey for them in the next 18 months. They dream of becoming professional footballers, but we want them to be the best they can be every day.
‘We have to set the standards high for all of them, so that they can go on to excel in any walk of life.
‘It’s important for us to keep the conveyor belt going and see some of them take to the pitch at Fratton Park because over the past few years we’ve seen some top young talent come through.’
The Blues’ six new apprentices were asked to introduce themselves to the Fratton faithful.
Here’s what they had to say...Harry Anderson
I can’t wait to get started, push towards my professional debut and score as many goals as possible.
I’ve represented my country at under-16 and under-17 level, and won the Northern Ireland Cup in 2015 at my old club Portadown.
I scored three goals in two games for the Portadown first team.Charlie Bell
I have lived in Portsmouth all my life and went to Mayfield School. I have been at Pompey since the age of six.
I was called into the under-23 squad, which was a massive achievement for me and a great experience.
I like to think of myself as an attacking player and have played everywhere across the front positions, but all in the centre of midfield and had some of my best games there last season.
My ambitions are to break into the first team by the end of my second year, to sign a professional contract with Portsmouth and play many games for them.
I would also love to be called up to the England squad.
I am hoping to become a better player by the end of my apprenticeship and improve my overall game.
My other hobbies are going to the gym and playing snooker.
My manager Shaun North has influenced me massively, bringing out the best in me and making me the player I am today.Harrison Brook
I went to Langstone Junior School and Mayfield Academy, winning the Portsmouth Schools’ Cup in my final year.
I’ve been at the club for seven years and have played in numerous positions.
My main ambition is to play for my hometown club and then go on to represent my country.
I enjoy playing my Xbox and spending time with my family.
My main role models in football are George Best for the way he played and Cristiano Ronaldo because of his story and what he’s been through to get to the top.Harvey Rew
I’ve been at Pompey since under-13 level.
I’m a left-sided centre-back and also play at left-back, where I started when I signed for the club.
I have eight caps for Wales under-17s, the latest of which came in the Euro under-17 qualifiers in October.
My aim for the season is to be involved with the first-team squad for any competition and my eventual ambition is to be captain, playing week in, week out, for the club I love.Gerard Storey
Position: MidfielderMy achievements over the past few years include representing and captaining my country, winning the Super Cup with my county and scoring in the final, making my senior debut for Portadown at 16 and playing 1,063 minutes, and signing a two-year scholarship with Portsmouth.
My interests away from football are boxing and golf.
My role models are my mum, my granda, Paul Pogba and Floyd Mayweather.Seokjae Lee
From: South Korea
I was born in South Korea, then moved to England in 2015.
I’ve been at this club for two years and am grateful to play for them.
I see myself as a striker, but like to play as an attacking midfielder and winger as well.
Hopefully I will sign a pro contract with Pompey.