Mark Catlin pledges Portsmouth youth commitment - and a new Academy boss within 48 hours

Pompey will unveil their new Academy manager within the next 48 hours.

Sunday, 18th April 2021, 2:56 pm
Mark Catlin is adamant the Academy set-up remains crucial to Pompey's future under Tornante. Picture: Joe Pepler

And Mark Catlin is convinced the ‘bright and innovative’ appointment demonstrates the club’s strong commitment to their youth production line.

The Blues last month advertised for a new Academy boss, a role recently occupied by Jon Slater and, before that, the long-serving Mark Kelly.

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In addition, negotiations are underway to keep Alfie Stanley – but loaning him out for next season to aid his development.

That activity has prompted suggestions owners Tornante are not committed to the Academy set-up.

Catlin is adamant that is not the case – and revealed an Academy manager will be revealed in the ‘coming days’.

Pompey’s chief executive told The News: ‘There is continued increased investment in the Academy year on year, we work well above the benchmark in averages in regards of Category 3 expenditure, and it is something we will continue to invest in.

‘With the appointment of a new Academy manager, we are very excited for the future.

‘We have been in discussions and have gone through an extensive recruitment process in regards of a new Academy manager. We are very, very pleased with the person we have chosen

‘We are getting in a candidate who has bags of energy, enthusiasm, and is key to everything we do at the club, with a very, very hard-working ethic.

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‘This person is bright, innovative and absolutely blew us away during the interview process. We are all very excited about working with this person moving forward.

‘It was a free, inclusive process involving Danny (Cowley), myself and the rest of the team. We cannot wait to announce this person’s appointment in the coming days.

‘We are following the same remit as before. A new Academy manager will have their own views and opinions on how an Academy should be run - and they will be taken on board.’

Academy second-year scholars Harrison Brook and Seok Jae Lee, who both made their first-team bows in this season’s Papa John’s Trophy have been offered terms to remain.

While the club have an option on fellow graduate Haji Mnoga, who signed professional terms in December 2019.

In addition, there mains the possibility of Stanley remaining at Fratton Park.

Catlin added: ‘Just as I read and laughed at rumours of the Eisners selling the club, similarly it’s equally hysterical to suggest we are going to cut our Academy.

‘It is simply not the case and you have to wonder why people start these rumours.’

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