And two of those spots could potentially be filled by triallists presently on the St George’s Park trip.
With no intake from last year’s Academy and only Haji Mnoga remaining from the previous third-year scholars, Pompey’s boss is seeking young talent to bolster his squad.
Newcomer Liam Vincent and Mnoga are already on board, with the duo expected to be loaned out for experience.
Meanwhile, Cowley continues to scour for others to supplement youth numbers.
Pre-season has signalled the triallist arrival of promising talent released by Premier League and Championship clubs.
And Cowley is weighing up which are suitable to join his youth plans.
He told The News: ‘We really like the idea of having four young players. We see it as an exciting project.
‘We have two in Haji and Liam – but would like another two young ones to make a really nice group of four that maybe we can then look to to try to develop for the future.
‘The idea is to maybe get some loan experience into them and to develop a playing pathway.
‘We like that idea, I think it's so important for any club to have young players that have the potential to improve.
‘Where we are with our academy at the moment, we weren’t able to take anyone from last year and didn’t keep the young professionals other than Haji. So are a little light.
‘In terms of those trialling, it’s a mix of players from all different backgrounds and experiences.
‘These are players we have known about, that we’ve seen, and this is an opportunity to have a look at them with our own eyes.
‘They also get an opportunity to look at us and see if we are a pathway for them, which is equally as important.
‘Young players also bring such an energy and enthusiasm to training, they’re players who have so much ambition, and it’s great to have that balance in your group.’
There are no Academy players among the St George’s Park 28-man group.
However, 17-year-old Harry Jewitt-White, who made two Papa John’s Trophy appearances last season, and 16-year-old Izzy Kaba, were involved in last weekend’s friendly against the Hawks.
Cowley added: ‘We’d like some more young players to give a good balance to the squad.
‘On Saturday you had young Izzy Kaba come on at 60 minutes and did really, really well at centre-half, while Harry Jewitt-White was with the group as well.
‘We love young players and want the vibrance that young players bring.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
The News has launched a subscription offer which gives you unlimited access to all of our Pompey coverage, starting at less than 14p a day.
You can subscribe here to get the latest news from Fratton Park - and to support our local team of expert Pompey writers.