Danny Cowley details Portsmouth's non-league striker search - with Notts County's Kyle Wootton still in Blues sights

Danny Cowley has revealed he’s on the hunt for ‘one or two’ non-league gems he’s convinced can flourish in the Football League.

Wednesday, 1st December 2021, 2:36 pm

And The News understands still heading his search of National League and below remains Notts County striker Kyle Wootton.

The Blues’ head coach continues to be tight-lipped over targets ahead of January’s reopening of the transfer window.

Yet he admits he’s scouring the non-league game for striking talent equipped to bolster the strikeforce of a Pompey side unbeaten in nine matches.

Regardless of that outcome, Cowley is adamant there are bargains to be had beyond the Football League.

Pompey’s head coach told The News: ‘We are watching one or two (in non-league). We are always open-minded, regardless of the level or the division.

‘We watch a lot of National League and National North and South, it’s our job to try to find one that maybe people aren’t aware of.

Danny Cowley has revealed his Pompey striker hunt has taken him into the non-league game. Picture: Graham Hunt/ProSportsImages

‘You have to take it quite early nowadays because you don’t have to do much to be worth a lot of money. We have to find them and see them as potential.

‘Even in the National League, should they score 20-25 goals then they'll cost a small fortune in transfer fees and a big wage.

‘History suggests there are normally one or two every year that can make the step up to the Football League, yet there are always the risks and a big jump.

‘I have lived the National League and I have lived League One – there’s a big difference.

‘You have also got to remember there’s an even bigger jump going from the National League to Pompey in League One, considering the size of the club.

‘The majority of National League players are used to playing for smaller clubs and smaller crowds. There are some big clubs, of course, but this is generally speaking.’

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Alternatively, they can seek to sign the Meadow Lane forward on a pre-contract agreement and bring him to Fratton Park in the summer.

He added: ‘In an ideal world, we’d like a long-term project that we could sign in January for the number nine position.

‘But I think we might have to make a short-term decision to buy ourselves a bit more time until the summer.

‘You also never know what’s going to happen in regards to your squad, maybe people coming in and buying your players, which could create some money.

‘It would be wise finding someone that creates the money for us to spend on the number nine position.

’It’s very hard to find the quality of forward on a free transfer that has the capabilities and competencies to be successful at Pompey.’

A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron

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