Meet Portsmouth's longest-serving first-teamer after Danny Cowley player cull - and he's made just 34 appearances

He’s Pompey’s longest-serving first-team player – and has just 34 appearances to his name.

Saturday, 19th June 2021, 11:30 am
Danny Cowley has overseen the departures of 11 members of Pompey's first-team squad since the season's end. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com
Danny Cowley has overseen the departures of 11 members of Pompey's first-team squad since the season's end. Picture: Daniel Chesterton/phcimages.com

The aftershocks emanating from last season’s promotion failure saw a summer player purge, with 11 so far departing under Danny Cowley.

Among them were home-grown pair Ben Close and Jack Whatmough, with 326 outings between them.

That leaves fellow Academy product Alex Bass standing ahead of the rest.

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The talented goalkeeper has been around Pompey’s first-team since the summer of 2014, when blooded by boss Andy Awford in pre-season fixtures.

There have subsequently been loan spells at Salisbury, Torquay and Southend for the 23-year-old.

Yet for half of the 2019-20 campaign, he was Kenny Jackett’s preferred choice in goal, having dislodged Craig MacGillivray.

Still, during the seven seasons he has so far been associated with the Blues first-team, Bass has totalled 34 matches.

Alex Bass is now Pompey's longest-serving player, although has featured just 34 times in seven seasons. Picture: Simon Davies/ProSportsImages

Of the rest of the current squad, nobody else has been around at Fratton Park longer than three seasons.

Ronan Curtis arrived from Derry in May 2018, while Haji Mnoga emerged through the ranks to have his first involvement that same season.

As for Bass, he arrived as a 14-year-old in 2012 following a successful trial, having been spotted in a League Training Centre in Eastleigh.

He was initially introduced into the first-team two years later in July 2014, as a second-half substitute in a pre-season friendly at Bognor.

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The Blues ran out 6-1 winners that afternoon, with Jed Wallace, Andy Barcham, Ryan Taylor, Miles Storey, Danny Hollands and Bradley Tarbuck the scorers.

The 16-year-old Bass had replaced Paul Jones in goal after 59 minutes for Awford’s men for that second pre-season fixture of the summer.

During the subsequent 2014-15 campaign, he was an unused substitute in four matches, with Jones ever-present in all 52 fixtures that term.

By the time Bass was granted his debut in August 2016, he had spent 37 games on the bench for Pompey’s first-team.

Then, for an EFL Cup fixture against Coventry, he was handed his senior bow by Paul Cook as the Blues suffered a penalty shoot-out defeat.

Bass’ breakthrough season would be 2019-20, when he made 25 appearances in a season curtailed by coronavirus.

Having replaced MacGillivray on New Year’s Day at Gillingham, he went on to face boyhood team Arsenal in the FA Cup and line-up in both legs of League One play-off semi-final elimination to Oxford United.

However, last season, following an uncomfortable opening 45 minutes at Stevenage in the Carabao Cup in August, he lost his spot to MacGillivray.

Bass would total just five outings, all in cup competitions, while twice broke his leg after January.

Now the 6ft 3in keeper is approaching his eighth Pompey first-team season – this time as the club’s longest-serving player.

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