Matt Casey is determined to make the most with his loan move to the Hawks as he targets first-team football at Pompey.
The giant centre-back, who is a product of the Blues’ academy system, moved to the National League South club on loan during the week and made his debut as Paul Doswell’s side knocked Taunton Town out of the FA Cup on Saturday.
He’s been sent out to get minutes under his belt and to play competitive football on a regular basis at a good standard.
Casey made three first-team appearances for Pompey on their way to Checkatrade Trophy glory last season.
The defender was rewarded with a maiden professional contract at Fratton Park earlier this summer.
But had failed to make an appearance for Kenny Jackett’s side this campaign.
He’s sure to get game time at Westleigh Park – and the defender is keen to make the most of the opportunity presented to him as he eyes forcing his way into Jackett’s thoughts.
So far this season, the Blues manager has used four different combinations at centre-back as he tries to get the right partnership in the centre of defence.
Casey said: ‘Moving on loan to the Hawks is to help me get more experience of men's football at a good standard.
'That is something the Hawks can help me with because the standards are high at this club.
'Also, it is about getting more game time in me because I am not getting that at Portsmouth.
'So I have come here to get the game time and try to prove myself.
'That is what Kenny Jackett wants me to get here so that I can make that next step up to get into the Portsmouth first team.
'It is a very tough challenge down at Portsmouth with very good players around that you have to compete with.
'Equally, at the Hawks, they are all good players who know the game.
'So it is a challenge playing and training at both clubs.
'This is a great move for me and I am very much looking forward to it.
'Obviously, I am looking to progress into the first team at Portsmouth and I think this is the best way of trying to do that.'
Casey went straight into the Hawks team for their FA Cup second qualifying round win against Taunton.
He said he was delighted with how things went – both for himself and his new team.
‘I enjoyed the game, especially getting a 2-1 win in the FA Cup,’ added Casey.
'It is a great way to make my Hawks debut and I thought I did very well.
'It was my first game in eight weeks so it was tough.
'I felt I did very well to keep going for the whole game.
'Being an FA Cup tie first up made it extra tough but the team put in a great performance to get us through.
'I am happy with the way things went.’