Pompey run rule over three triallists on day one of pre-season training and welcome back former Birmingham youngster after nightmare maiden season at Fratton Park

Twenty-one players reported for duty on Monday as Pompey returned to training ahead of their 2022-23 League One campaign.

Pompey returned to pre-season training on Monday.

Picture: Habibur Rahman
Pompey returned to pre-season training on Monday. Picture: Habibur Rahman

And included in that number were three triallists as Blues boss Danny Cowley looks to bolster his squad’s ranks during the summer transfer window.

The identities of the three Pompey wannabes were being a carefully guarded secret by the club – a figure well down on last summer’s 10 on day one of training.

However, one is a goalkeeper – who was being put through his drills by new goalkeeping coach Joe Prodomo – with Pompey on the lookout for reinforcements in that department following the recent departures of both Gavin Bazunu and Ollie Webber.

Meanwhile, the other two were outfield players, although where they played remained unknown as the Blues kept their cards close to their chest.

Jayden Reid found himself in a similar position last summer as he rocked up at Roko looking a permanent deal.

The winger duly impressed and earned himself a one-year deal at the club.

Yet he saw no competitive Pompey action in that time after suffering a ruptured knee ligament injury in the pre-season trip to Luton.

His future was in doubt until the Blues activated a clause in his contract in May.

And he proved he is ready to compete for a place in Cowley’s side by reporting for duty, injury free.

With the futures of fellow widemen Marcus Harness and Ronan Curtis in doubt, that provides back-up if either of the two leave in the coming weeks.

But they put that transfer talk behind them as they, too, returned to action on the opening day of training.

As did Kieron Freeman, who missed the second half of the season with a ankle injury and has been linked with a move away this summer.

Talking of injuries, there was no sign of midfielder Joe Morrell, who suffered a broken toe while on international duty for Wales this month – an injury that puts his participation on the opening day of the season (July 30) in doubt.

Reeco Hackett, who signed a new Pompey deal during the close season was also absent from Monday’s afternoon training session in the Portsmouth sunshine.

While, of course, Aiden O’Brien was nowhere to be seen as he continues to weigh up his options.

He’s the only remaining out-of-contract player yet to agree terms on a new deal, which is disappointing given that Sean Raggett and Michael Jacobs did – and they showed no signs of regretting that decision as they clearly welcomed their return to the Pompey fold.

The fact the there were no senior strikers on show on the first day – or new permanent signings, for that matter – was also concerning sight.

But with the transfer window just over a week old, at least Cowley has plenty of time to address that problem.

It was good to see Pompey back out on the pitch and keeper Alex Bass in Pompey colours again.

It would be even better, though, to see them back and active in the transfer market.