Portsmouth's Ronan Curtis has no intention of slowing down rapid career progress

As Ronan Curtis’ playing style emphatically testifies, he is a man in a hurry.

Tuesday, 30th July 2019, 4:30 pm
Ronan Curtis in pre-season action against Stevenage Picture: Joe Pepler

A maiden Football League season may not have yielded the Championship presence Pompey so desperately craved.

Yet for last summer’s recruit from Derry, it proved to be groundbreaking campaign during a development occurring at breakneck speed.

Deemed a Fratton Park gamble, the energetic Curtis would progress to senior international recognition, earning two Republic of Ireland caps and being crowned the FAI Under-21 Player of the Year.

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Meanwhile, at domestic level, the 23-year-old netted 12 times in 49 Blues outings, also reaching double figures for assists.

It was an impressive impact which saw Kenny Jackett select him as Pompey’s Young Player of the Year.

An admirable 12 months for the left-winger once perceived as a Football League rookie.

Not that Curtis is pausing to take breath, the sprint continues.

He said: 'It has been a wonderful year – named Pompey’s young player, playing for my country and winning at Wembley in the Checkatrade Trophy.

'Everything was amazing and a dream come true, I never thought it would happen to me, but it did.

'I set the bar high for myself and did what I had to do to achieve that, but I have to maintain it.

‘My target was to score between 10-15 goals and I wasn’t far off it, I was injured for a month as well, which didn’t go in my favours. Now I want 15 goals this season.

'That's still a lot to improve on, other players have different aspects they want to develop, for me it’s running at players more, taking more players on and shooting more.

‘I am not selfish like that, I look to pass it a lot, but wingers and strikers should sometimes be more greedy – and I would say I can work on that a little bit.

'I did well the first two or three months here, scoring goals and setting them up, so hopefully I can chip in with more this season.

‘It's hard when you don't get enough of the ball so can't create anything, while coming off after 50 or 60 minutes doesn't really help either, but you get on with it.

'We were so close to promotion last year, but a couple of slip-ups in December and January meant we hit a bad patch and were then fighting. We got into the play-offs and it didn’t really work out for us.

‘Promotion is our goal once again – and I want to get more assists and goals to help out.’

Pompey moved to bring fellow left-winger Gary Mackay-Steven to the club this summer.

Yet it fell through late on when the former Aberdeen man instead opted to link-up with New York City.

There were also attempts to recruit Viv Solomon-Otabor on a permanent deal following his loan spell during the second half of last term.

Both would have challenged Curtis for a first-team spot, not that the Irishman begrudges Pompey’s attempt to ramp up squad competition.

He added: 'It's football, it's going to happen to you, even if you are the best player in the world, it happens to the best of us

‘It's good, it gives you competition and makes you fight for your jersey, fight for your place.

'There's a lot high standards here now and you are fighting for your position, it's not going to be easy.

‘Viv (Solomon-Otabor) came in January and didn't really play much to be fair. He’s good, a good lad, I used to see him a lot on the training ground and off it as well.

'I won that battle as well, you have to fight for your place.’