Long-serving Portsmouth coach departs as Danny Cowley begins overhaul of backroom staff

Pompey goalkeeping coach John Keeley has left Fratton Park.

Wednesday, 19th May 2021, 12:41 pm
Long-serving goalkeeping coach John Keeley has left Pompey as Danny Cowley assembles his backroom staff. Picture: Joe Pepler

The News understands the long-serving member of staff has departed as part of Danny Cowley’s reshuffle.

Cowley and brother Nicky are keen to put their own stamp on the club this season after being appointed permanently.

As well as an overhaul of the playing squad which finished eighth in League One, there will also be significant changes behind the scenes.

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And that involves the exit of Keeley, one of the few remaining members of that 2016-17 League Two title-winning squad and staff.

The Worthing-based 59-year-old wanted to remain with Pompey, yet was informed on Monday that his services were no longer required.

During two spells with the Blues, Keeley worked with the likes of David James, Asmir Begovic, Jamie Ashdown, David Forde, Luke McGee, Craig MacGillivray and Alex Bass.

A highly-respected and popular figure at the club, the former Brighton keeper initially arrived at Fratton Park as Academy goalkeeping coach in July 2007.

When Dave Coles followed Avram Grant to West Ham in May 2010, Keeley stepped up to work with the first-team under Steve Cotterill.

In January 2013, he linked up with his ex-Blues boss Michael Appleton at Blackburn Rovers, while later had a four-month period with Chinese Super League side Guangzhou R&F.

Cook brought him back to Pompey in the summer of 2016 and he was challenged with identifying a goalkeeper who could help drive the club to promotion.

Keeley identified Millwall’s Forde, who arrived on a season-long loan from Millwall and was ever-present in the League Two title success.

It now remains to be seen what role under-18 goalkeeping coach Michael Poke has under the Cowleys.

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