Portsmouth Academy: former winger Eoin Teggart rues lack of Blues support during frustrating Cliftonville loan stint ahead of Fratton Park exit
Former Pompey winger Eoin Teggart admitted he would have liked greater support from the Blues ahead of his Fratton Park release.
‘The 19-year-old Northern Ireland youth international said that help would have been particularly welcome during the second half of last season as he endured a frustrating loan spell at Irish Premiership side Cliftonville
Teggart was named among a host of departures from the PO4 academy set-up in the spring.
The third-year scholar, who made two Pompey appearances during his three-year stay on the south coast, was told there was no further career pathway available to him at Fratton Park and that his time at the Blues was now at and end.
He’s currently training on his own in his native Northern Ireland as he bids to maintain his fitness and find a new club.
Irish League top-flight clubs Warrenpoint and Portadown – who recently signed fellow former Pompey youngster Harry Anderson – are known admirers.
But it’s progress, he believes, plateaued somewhat during a spell at Solitude that saw him utilised on just two occasions from the bench and without much support from his then parent club.
The teenager told The News: ‘There was nothing in the contract that said I had to play X amount of games. But looking back at it there probably should have.
‘I didn't expect it to be an issue, though. I was arriving on loan and they (Cliftonville) needed a winger.
‘To be honest, I don't know what communication there was (between Cliftonville and Pompey) but didn't hear much from them when I was there.
‘I didn't hear much from anyone apart from at the end of the season, when I got called up to Northern Ireland’s under-21s and they were asking how it was going? But it was never like, “how was it on loan?”
‘I'm not saying I was forgotten about, but was made to get on with it myself.
‘There was another lad there from Celtic and they were in contact with him three times a week.
‘When people talk about standards, that's the sort of standards you want.
‘I think I was in contact with Portsmouth three times the whole time I was there.
'I would have loved that – people in contact three times a week, even the manager ringing Cliftonville and asking "why's he not playing?"
'If that had happened maybe they would have given a valid reason.
‘After a while my head just dropped and I lost a lot of confidence in myself because I was just turning up for training knowing I'd probably be in the stands that weekend or even left in the house.’
Teggart admitted he wouldn’t let the experience distract him from his goal of returning to the English game.
Championship new-boys Blackpool recently announced the signing of the Irish Premiership’s 2020-21 top-scorer, Shayne Lavery, who netted 23 goals as Linfield won the league title.
And the winger believes he can do the same if he’s given the chance to show off his skills.
‘There's plenty of English clubs watching the Irish League teams - Championship teams down to League Two.
‘Ultimately, if I was to come home permanently, and I got myself another club here, I would definitely try to get the head down and hopefully get back to England.
‘But I would need to go to a club where I'd be playing week in, week out to showcase myself.’